Preparation Instructions

Preparation Instructions

This page contains key information on how to prepare for your colonoscopy procedure. If you have any questions, contact MarinHealth Gastroenterology through MyChart or call us at 415-925-6900 and select option 5.

Please read and follow these instructions at least 7 days prior to your procedure. Do not follow instructions from other sources, including your prescription manufacturer, unless specifically designated by the ordering provider at MarinHealth Gastroenterology.

Please ensure that you have your bowel preparation solution ready to prepare. If you have not picked up your prescription, please work with your pharmacy to make sure it is available for you. The Miralax and Gatorade preparation items can be found over the counter at most grocery stores and pharmacies.

Please be aware that patients need a ride home following the procedure. No driving or important decisions
should be made the rest of the day.

If you plan to cancel your procedure, please notify us at least 7 days in advance.

Medications to Stop

The following instructions are intended as general guidelines for medication usage. It is important to consult your prescribing physician or healthcare provider for personalized instructions, special considerations, and any questions or concerns regarding your medication regimen.

Number of Days
Prior to Stop


Weekly Dosing of GLP1-R Agonist (Ozempic, Rybelsus, Wegovy, Trulicity, Mounjaro, Victoza, Byetta, Saxenda)


Iron Supplements (Ferrous Sulfate, Ferrous Gluconate)


SGLT2-Inhibitors (Canagliflozin [Invokana], Dapagliflozin [Farxiga], Empagliflozin [Jardiance])


Daily Dosing of GLP1-R Agonist (Ozempic, Rybelsus, Wegovy, Trulicity, Mounjaro, Victoza, Byetta, Saxenda)

Day of / 0

Diabetes prescription (Metformin, Insulin) We advise discussing this discontinuation with your prescribing endocrinologist or primary care doctor.

Diet Recommendations

To best clean out your colon, adjust your diet starting 3 days before your colonoscopy.


STOP - 3 Days Before

  • All fruits and vegetables with seeds (cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries)
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Seeds (i.e. flax and chia seeds)
  • Whole grains
  • Quinoa

OK TO CONSUME - 3 Days Before

  • Cheese
  • Fruits and vegetables without seeds (Celery, Kale, Peaches, Broccoli, Potatoes, carrots, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms)
  • Eggs
  • Meat and tofu
  • Milk
  • Noodles
  • Smoothies with pulverized seeds
  • White bread
  • White Rice


  • Until 10am: Low residue breakfast (white toast, eggs, yogurt, cream of wheat, melon (without seed), protein shake, custard, ice cream, cottage cheese, coffee/tea with creamer)
  • After 10am: Clear liquid diet. Eating solid food after 10am on the day before your procedure may result in your procedure being cancelled. Please adhere to the clear liquid diet after 10am on the day prior and be sure to stay hydrated. STOP ALL SOLID FOOD.

OK TO CONSUME - 1 Day Before

  • Water/coconut water (without pulp)
  • Coffee/tea without milk
  • Honey & sugar
  • Juice without pulp
  • Sports drinks (i.e., Gatorade)
  • Jell-O/popsicles
  • Clear Broths
  • Ensure clear
  • Hard candy
  • Soda/Lemonade/Club soda

OK to Drink vs Not OK to Drink 1 Day Prior to Your Colonoscopy

For additional instructions, click below to review preparation instructions for the specific medication you have been prescribed:

Please make sure to follow the above instructions for your bowel prep to ensure that your colon is completely cleaned out. This is important because your doctor needs a clear view of your colon wall in order to conduct the test accurately. If your colon is inadequately cleansed, your doctor will not be able to see important things like polyps or cancer, and you will need to repeat this preparation and your colonoscopy.

Think of it this way: A dirty colon is like driving in a snowstorm. A clean colon is like driving on a country road on a sunny day.

As you drink your prep, the stool coming out should slowly begin to look like the solution you are drinking - clear without any particles. Below is a guide to help see what your stool should look like in the toilet when your prep is complete.

Stool Color Chart - From Dark to Light

Appointment Location

Be sure to double check your appointment location as MarinHealth conducts procedures at three locations:

If you have questions, please call our office: 415-925-6900 and select option 5.

Prescription Reminder

Make sure you have received a prescription for the bowel prep or that your pharmacy received an electronic prescription.

Transportation Reminder

• Your ride/responsible adult must be readily available to pick you up when called.
• Public transportation or taxi/uber/lyft rides are not allowed unless you have a responsible adult accompanying you home.
• Unfortunately, if you are not able to secure a ride/responsible adult, we will need to cancel the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the prescription cost?
This amount will depend on your insurance coverage and may range anywhere from $15-$75. The preparation was designed to ensure that your colon is completely clean so your doctor can be certain he/she has performed the best colon cancer screening possible.

What if I don’t like the taste?
The flavor of the laxative has been determined through the results of several taste tests. If you don't like the available flavor(s), you can try adding tea bags, clear juice, or soda to the bowel prep to enhance the taste. Additionally, consuming the solution chilled and using a straw to drink it may help to improve the experience and minimize the flavor.

I have diarrhea; do I need to drink the entire laxative amount?
Even though you think your colon is clean, it is best to be sure by taking the preparation as prescribed. Having loose stools with your bowel prep is expected.

I don’t weigh much. Do I need to drink the entire amount?
Yes. All colon lengths are the same, no matter how much you weigh.

My bowels haven’t moved yet after drinking the laxative. What do I do?
People typically experience a bowel movement within a couple hours of starting the prep, but this varies from person to person. If you tend to have constipation it will take longer. If you have experienced no effects after several hours, you should consult your physician.

If you have additional questions, or for more information, please call our office: 415-925-6900 and select option 5.