• The Colonoscopy Prep Process; Safe?

    Christine Andrew, CNC 2009

    On the day before procedure consume liquids only, but no milk. Choices given:


    Clear liquids as long as they are not red or purple—Okay

    Chicken broth— Okay

    Strained fruit juices without pulp—Okay

    Coffee—Really? Do I want to dehydrate myself even more?


    Jell-O—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (may be carcinogenic, coal tar dyes, may contain aluminum), gelatin may contain sulfur dioxide, MSG

    Kool Aid—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (See above)

    Gatorade—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (See above)

    Soda—ingredients: sugar, phosphates

    Popsicle—blue, green, yellow, orange or pink—sugar, artificial flavors, and colorings.

    First, take two Bisacodyl tablets–a laxative hydrolyzed by intestinal brush border enzymes and colonic bacteria to form an active metabolite (bis-p-hyroxyphenyl) pyridyl 2 methane, that acts directly on colonic mucosa to produce peristalsis.

    Ingredients: (5 mg.)

    Acetylated monoglycerides

    Calcium sulfate—plaster of Paris, used as a firming agent. Absorbs moisture and hardens quickly. Its ingestion may result in intestinal obstruction. GRAS.

    Carnauba wax—Used as a glaze

    D&C Red no.7 Calcium Lake— any food dyes can be a potential harm gelatin—(See above)

    Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate

    Lactose—a milk sugar, Use as a diuretic and laxative and filler. Many people are lactose intolerant and this can cause digestive upset and bloating.

    Magnesium stearate

    Confectioner Sugar, sucrose

    Talc—French Chalk. An anticaking agent added to render a free flow. Comes from magnesium silicate, a mineral. Can contain asbestiform minerals.

    Titanium dioxide

    Bees wax

    Microcrystaline cellulose

    Next, mix Flavor Packet into “HalfLytely”-

    Contents of Flavor Packet:

    “Natural” and artificial flavor powder


    gum arabic

    sodium saccharin

    silicon dioxide

    food dyes (See colorings above)

    Last, drink 2 liters of “HalfLytely” every 10 minutes


    Polyethylene Glycol: A defoaming agent. A binder, plasticizing agent, solvent, and softener. Improves resistance to moisture and oxidation.

    Polyethylene: a polymer of ethylene, a product of petroleum gas or dehydration of alcohol. One of a group of lightweight thermoplastics that have a good resistance to chemicals, low moisture absorption. Ingestion of large oral dose has produced kidney and liver damage.

    Polymer: A substance formed by combining many small molecules. The result is essentially recurring long-chain structural units that have tensile strength, elasticity, and hardness. Examples are plastics, fibers, rubber, and human tissue.

    Ethylene Glycol: A slightly viscous liquid with a sweet taste. Absorbs twice its weight in water. Used as an antifreeze and humectant and solvent. Toxic when ingested, causing central nervous system depression, vomiting, drowsiness, coma, respiratory failure, kidney damage, and possibly death.

    Sodium chloride

    Sodium bicarbonate

    Potassium chloride

    Warning contained on the HalfLytely container:

    HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Tablets Bowel Prep Kit is a gastrointestinal lavage indicated for cleansing of the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults. Most common adverse reactions (<3%) are abdominal pain/cramping, nausea, vomiting and headache. Use is contraindicated in the following conditions: known allergies to polyethylene glycol or other components of the kit, gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction, bowel perforation, toxic colitis, toxic megacolon.

    Use with caution in patients using concomitant medications (such as diuretics) that increase the risk of electrolyte abnormality, patients with known or suspected hyponatremia, patients with severe ulcerative colitis, ileus or gastric retention. There have been reports of ischemic colitis in patients with use of HalfLytely and 20 mg Bisacodyl Tablets Bowel Prep Kit. However, a causal relationship has not been established. If patients develop severe abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, patients should be evaluated as soon as possible. Patients with impaired water handling who experience severe vomiting should be closely monitored including measurement of electrolytes. Hives and skin rashes have been reported with PEG-based products which are suggestive of an allergic reaction.