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Bowel preparation for Colonoscopy or Sigmoidoscopy

If you are having a colonoscopy you will need to take a solution called Moviprep to completely clear your bowel before the procedure.

Moviprep is a flavoured powder that makes a solution when mixed with water to cleanse your colon. It has a laxative action, clearing the bowel so that it is clean and empty.

It is very important that you have a cleansed bowel for your colonoscopy so that any abnormalities in your bowel can be seen by the clinician performing the procedure.

Instruction leaflets for Moviprep will be sent with your appointment letter and can also be found below. Please contact the endoscopy pre-assessment team if you have any questions about taking your bowel preparation.

if you are having a signmoidoscopy you may be asked to to take an enema prep instead.

Please click here for this information on self administration of enema prep.

You should expect frequent bowel actions and eventually diarrhoea. Some intestinal cramping is normal. Using a barrier cream, such as Vaseline, locally after each bowel action will help to reduce soreness around the anus.

Please make sure you are near a toilet once commencing your bowel prep

Foods to avoid 3 days before taking bowel preparation

  • Nuts, seeds and pulses including baked beans
  • Wholemeal pasta and brown rice
  • Wholemeal or brown bread including granary, high fibre white bread, seeded bread
  • Potato skins and chips
  • Wholegrain cereal such as All Bran, Bran flakes, Shredded Wheat, Muesli and cereals with added fruit or nuts
  • Red meat
  • Cakes, biscuits, puddings or sweets containing fruit and / or nuts
  • Any puddings containing fruit and / or nuts
  • Tomatoes and pepper

Diet guidelines

7 days before your procedure 

Stop taking all iron tablets but continue all other medication.

4 days before your procedure 

Stop taking any constipating agents i.e. lomotil, codeine phosphate etc, but continue all other medication.

2 days before your procedure

Eat foods which are low in fibre. Avoid foods such as fruit, green, vegetables, cereals, baked beans and brown bread. Choose foods from the ‘foods allowed’ list.

Have plenty to drink - at least ½ pint/ 1 glass, each hour 

Preparing MOVIPREP

For further information on how to take and prepare MOVIPREP click here

If you are having an OGD and a colonoscopy at the same appointment please do not drink anything for 4 hours prior to your appointment

Clear Fluid – Water, dilute cordial, black tea, black coffee, Bovril, Oxo, strained clear soup, lemonade.

Do not have red or purple coloured drinks.

Morning appointment

If you have a morning appointment, start the diet the day before.

Day before procedure

You must take no solid food today or tomorrow until after the procedure and you can only drink clear fluid.

12 noon – Fill a jug with 1 litre of water and add a pair of sachets – one sachet A and one sachet B.

Drink the fluid over 1-2 hours

4pm – Fill a jug with 1 litre of water and add the second pair of sachets – one sachet A and one sachet B as above, drink these over 1-2 hours. During the evening you should drink an additional 500mls of clear fluid to prevent you becoming dehydrated.

Afternoon appointment

Day before procedure

You may have a light breakfast before 10am, after this you must eat no solid food until after your procedure and you can only drink clear fluid

7pm – Fill a jug with 1 litre of water and add a pair of sachets – one sachet A and one sachet B. Drink the fluid over 1-2 hours.

Day of the procedure

6am - Fill a jug with 1 litre of water and add the second pair of sachets – one sachet A and one sachet B as above, drink these over 1-2 hours.

If you are having an OGD and a colonoscopy at the same appointment please do not drink anything for 4 hours prior to your appointment