Please read all instructions at least three (3) days before your colonoscopy examination.

You should have :

  • A prescription for 2 sachets of Picoprep, to be obtained from your pharmacy (drink to clean the bowel)
  • Bowel preparation instructions (this sheet)
  • A pamphlet explaining colonoscopy
  • A hospital patient information booklet- to be completed and sent to the hospital

ON THE DAY BEFORE THE EXAMINATION: Take clear liquids only, no solid food, milk or milk products are allowed. This is all you can have on the day prior and day of the procedure.

Clear Liquids include:

  • strained fruit juices without pulp (apple, white grape, orange etc)
  • water, tea, coffee • clear soup or Oxo and all of the following that are not coloured red or purple: • fizzy soft drinks, fruit flavoured cordials
  • plain jelly (without added fruits or toppings)
  • clear ice blocks

Your appointment is in the morning, therefore:

  1.  At 8am (the day before your procedure): Add 1 sachet of picoprep to 125ml of cold water and drink.

AFTER THIS Immediately drink one full glass (250 mls) of clear liquid (lemonade), water or ginger ale. Follow this with at least 3 glasses of water or ginger ale.

  1.  At 8pm (the day before your procedure): Mix 2nd sachet of picoprep as above and repeat the process.

It makes it easier to take the preparation if you chill the mixture, drink it through a straw, and suck barley sugars if you wish. Keep drinking as much water as possible.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KEEP DRINKING WATER UP UNTIL 4 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME (but nothing by mouth for the 4hr leading up to the procedure)

High quality colonoscopic examination can only be achieved if the colon is clear. For this reason, you are asked to follow the above regime of bowel clean out.

Do not exceed the doses given in the instructions.

The picoprep preparation often works within 30 minutes, but may take as long as 4 hours. It may cause multiple urgent bowel movements. Please remain within easy reach of toilet facilities.

The aim of this preparation is to have you passing clear, light, straw coloured water out of your bowel.

If it is muddy, or solid, you may need an enema before your procedure, so please report on time for your examination.

Expect to be at the hospital for at least 2 hours, but delays may occur and your stay may be longer.



If you are a Diabetic, and/or

If you are on anticoagulants i.e. warfarin, you will need further instructions and you may need to be monitored by your GP before your procedure.

(if on Aspirin or Cartia, don’t take this on the day of your procedure only).



For 24 hours - you cannot:







If you have any questions, please phone the Christchurch Gastroenterology Group

Click Here to download a pdf version of this page.

Information Updated 12/8/14