Colonoscopy: MiraLAX® – Gatorade Prep

To ensure a successful exam, please follow all instructions carefully. You MUST arrange a ride for the day of your exam. If you fail to arrange acceptable transportation, your procedure will need to be rescheduled. If you have diabetes, ask your physician for diet and medication instructions.   If you are pregnant and taking the best prenatal vitamins, please discuss the risks and benefits of this procedure with your doctor.

Please bring a list of all of your current medications, including any over-the-counter medications with you. If you must cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call your doctor’s office as soon as possible.

Purchase the following supplies at your local pharmacy:

  • 4 Dulcolax laxative tablets containing 5 mg of bisacodyl each (NOT Dulcolax stool softener)
  • 1 – 238 g. bottle of PEG 3350, aka MiraLax, ClearLax (cheapest at Costco or Walmart)
  • 64 oz. clear liquid, Gatorade, Crystal Light or Popel Water (no red or purple)
  • Vaseline and alcohol free baby wipes


  • If you take aspirin or NSAIDS such as Advil, Motrin, Celebrex or Ibuprofen, you may continue to take them as usual unless otherwise instructed by your physician. You should discuss this with your physician in advance of the procedure. Ask your doctor for specific instructions if you take a blood thinner like Plavix, Pradaxa, Clopidogrel, Coumadin, Warfarin, Effient, Prasugrel or Lovenox.


Stop eating all nuts, seeds and popcorn.


Begin a clear liquid diet. Drink at least 8 glasses of water during the day to avoid dehydration.

At 12 noon, take 4 Dulcolax tablets. Mix 64 oz. liquid with 8.3 oz. Miralax and place in the refrigerator (DO NOT ADD ICE)

At 6 pm, drink one 8 oz. glass of the Miralax/Gatorade solution and continue drinking one 8 oz. glass every15 minutes thereafter until the mixture is gone. Set a timer for every 15 minutes to keep pace.

Clear Liquid:
Gatorade, Pedialyte or Powerade
Clear Broth or Bouillon
Coffee or Tea (No Milk or Non-Dairy Creamer)
Carbonated and Non-Carbonated Soft Drinks
Kool-Aid or Other Fruit-Flavored Drinks
Strained Fruit Juices (No pulp)
Jell-O, Popsicles, Hard Candy
Not Clear Liquid:
No red or purple items of any kind
No alcohol
No milk or non dairy creamers
No noodles or vegetables in soup
No juice with pulp
No liquid you cannot see through


Nothing to drink after midnight! You may take all of your morning medications as usual with 4 oz. of water up to 3 hours before your procedure.

*4 hours before, Only if instructed by your physician, drink 10 oz. of Magnesium Citrate.

3 hours before, stop drinking all clear liquids.

You are ready for the exam if you followed all instructions and your stool is no longer formed, but clear or yellow liquid.


1. Stay near a toilet! You will have diarrhea, which can be quite sudden. This is normal.

2. Continue to drink the prep solution every 15 minutes as directed. Occasionally, this may involve drinking the solution while sitting on the toilet.

3. Rarely, people may experience nausea or vomiting with the prep. If this occurs, give yourself a 30-90 minute break, rinse your mouth or brush your teeth, then continue drinking the prep solution.

4. It is common to experience abdominal discomfort until the stool has flushed from your colon (this may take 2 to 4 hours, and occasionally significantly longer).

5. Anal skin irritation or a flare of hemorrhoidal inflammation may occur and can be treated with a variety of over the counter remedies including hydrocortisone creams, baby wipes or Tucks pads. Avoid products containing alcohol. If you have a prescription for  hemorrhoid cream, you may use it. Do not use suppositories.