Colonoscopy Preparation Instructions – Magnesium Citrate

It is very important that the following preparation is followed exactly as outlined.

Do not have anything to eat or drink after the second bottle of magnesium citrate is consumed.

Preparing for Your Colonoscopy at UConn Health

One week before the procedure:

  • Stop taking any iron supplements.

Three (3) days before the procedure:

  • Stop taking Vitamin E, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen, etc. You may continue aspirin.
  • If approved by your physician, stop taking any blood thinners (Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Pradaxa, etc.).
  • Take your usual medications for blood pressure, heart problems, lung problems, and other chronic health conditions. Check with your physician or GI Endoscopy office at 860-679-4784 if you are unsure whether to take or stop a medication.
  • Purchase the following items from your pharmacy. A written prescription from your physician is not required:
    • Two (2) bottles of magnesium citrate (10 ounce). Do not purchase red (cherry flavor).
    • One (1) package of Dulcolax tablets (laxative).

Day before the procedure:

  1. Upon wakening, take four (4) Dulcolax tablets (laxative), with a large glass of water.
  2. You need to follow a clear liquid diet ALL DAY – no red or purple liquids. No solid foods, milk or milk products. Choices:
    Apple juice
    Sprite
    Ginger ale
    Fresca
    Tea and coffee (honey, sugar, sugar substitutes ok – no milk)
    Jell-O (no red or purple)
    Popsicles (orange, lemon-lime)
    Vitamin Water or Gatorade (orange, lemon-lime)
    Clear soup, broth (vegetable, beef or chicken)
    White grape juice
    Hard candy
  3. In the evening, at 6 p.m., drink the entire content of the first bottle of magnesium citrate. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water at this time.
  4. Continue to follow a clear liquid diet through the evening to prevent dehydration.

Day of the procedure:

  1. Five (5) hours before your scheduled arrival time, you need to drink the entire content of the second bottle of magnesium citrate, and one 8 oz. glass of water. You should not have anything else to drink (or eat) until after your procedure (except the approved medications with a small sip of water). Check with your physician or GI Endoscopy office at 860-679-4784 if you are unsure whether to take or stop a medication.
  2. You must have a friend or family member available to provide you with transportation to the and from the procedure.

Additional Instructions for Afternoon Procedures

For procedures that are scheduled to start after 12 p.m., it is okay to drink clear liquids (black coffee or tea without sugar or milk, water, 7UP, ginger ale or apple juice) until 6 hours before the start time of the procedure.

DO NOT EAT ANY SOLID FOOD AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE.

  • Procedure scheduled at 1 p.m.: You may have clear liquids up to 7 a.m.
  • Procedure scheduled at 1:30 p.m.: You may have clear liquids up to 7:30 a.m.
  • Procedure scheduled at 2 p.m.: You may have clear liquids up to 8 a.m.
  • Procedure scheduled at 2:30 p.m.: You may have clear liquids up to 8:30 a.m.
  • Procedure scheduled at 3 p.m.: You may have clear liquids up to 9 a.m.
  • Procedure scheduled at 3:30 p.m.: You may have clear liquids up to 9:30 a.m.

If you are a patient scheduled for a colonoscopy at UConn Health and have problems with the preparation and/or have questions during weekday hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) call 860-679-3238 and ask to speak with the GI nurse.

If you are a patient scheduled for a colonoscopy at UConn Health and have problems with the preparation and/or have questions during the evening hours (after 4:30 p.m.) or on the weekend call 860-679-2626 and ask for the GI fellow on call.