Golytely Standard

Colonoscopy Prep Instructions

Golytely Standard 1 Day                                             

Two weeks before your colonoscopy:

¨ Call your pharmacy two weeks prior to your procedure. Tell them you are ready for them to fill your prescription for the colonoscopy bowel prep kit.

¨ If you are on medications (other than aspirin) that thin your blood or if you take medications for diabetes, you will need to let your family doctor know you are planning to have a colonoscopy and ask for instructions regarding this medication.

¨ Please note that UVA performs colonoscopies at two locations. Please confirm your location by referring to your appointment reminder letter.

Five days before your colonoscopy:

¨ Start a low fiber diet. See the food list on Page 3. 

¨ Stop iron, including vitamins that contain iron.

¨ Arrange a ride home with a friend or family member.

¨ Have plenty of clear liquids available at home, see Page 4. 

¨ If you wish, buy soft toilet paper, moist wipes or external ointment.

One day before your colonoscopy:

¨ At 8:00 am add water up to the fill line of the colonoscopy bowel prep jug. Mix well and place in refrigerator.

¨ Drink only clear liquids all day. Follow the lists on Page 4. Do not eat solid foods or milk products.

¨ Start drinking your bowel prep at 5:00PM. You will need to drink 8 ounces of prep solution every 10-15 minutes until HALF of the solution is finished.

¨ Stay close to a bathroom. Cleaning your colon causes diarrhea. 

Day of your colonoscopy:

¨ Begin drinking the other half of your bowel prep 5 hours before you leave home.

¨ You may continue to drink clear liquids for up to 2 hours before coming             to UVA.

¨ Arrive 45 minutes before your scheduled appointment time with a responsible adult who will be able to accompany you home.

¨ You must bring your CPAP machine with you if you have sleep apnea.

 Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Is It Important To Get Cleaned Inside? Your doctor must be able to see in order to complete the colonoscopy exam. If your colon is “dirty” on the inside, your doctor may not be able to see important things like polyps or cancer.

Is My Prep Working? The bowel movement coming out should look like fluids you are drinking – clear without many particles.  You know you are done when the bowel movement coming out is yellow, light, liquid, and clear, like urine.

What are the effects of the “bowel prep?” You will have lots of diarrhea from the bowel prep. This will start anywhere from a few minutes to 3 hours after you start your prep. Many people have bloating, abdominal discomfort, and/or nausea. Some people do not like the taste or smell of the medicine. Please do not let this get in the way of taking the medicine as directed. 

Rarely, some people throw up while taking the prep. If you throw up, stop taking the prep for 30-60 minutes. Then try taking the prep again. If you are unable to finish the bowel prep, your colon may not be clean enough for your exam.

Can I drive myself home after my colonoscopy? No. For your comfort, you will receive sedation during your procedure. You will need to have a responsible adult take you home.  He or she must be with you when you register and must remain near the facility until you are discharged. 

Why do I need my CPAP machine?  Sedation or anesthesia during your procedure is like sleeping but much deeper.  It is very important to use your CPAP during the procedure to maximize you breathing safely.  This is true even if you rarely use your CPAP.

How long will the procedure take? The exam itself takes about 45 minutes. However, time is required to prepare you for the colonoscopy; this is why we ask you to arrive 45 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. You will also require time to recover after your exam.  Expect to spend about 2-3 hours at UVA. 

My prep hasn't started working yet. What do I do? Different people respond differently to the bowel prep. If you have waited more than 3 hours without a response, then it may not be working well. Be sure you are drinking enough fluid.  If that doesn’t work, drink the second part of your prep and continue to drink fluids. It should work eventually. Call the UVA Endoscopy Unit at 434-982-0225 after 8 am on the morning of your procedure if the medicine is still not working.


Start this diet FIVE DAYS before your Colonoscopy.

You will return to your regular diet after the procedure.  




Refined breads, toast, rolls,   biscuits, muffins, crackers, pancakes, and waffles.

Enriched white or light rye bread or rolls. Saltines, Melba toast

Refined ready-to-eat cereals such as puffed rice and   puffed wheat Cooked refined wheat, corn, or rice cereal

Strained oatmeal, grits and farina

Refined cold cereals   made from rice, corn or oats (Rice Krispies, Cornflakes, Cheerios)

White rice, refined pasta,   macaroni, noodles


Most tender cooked and canned vegetables without   seeds such as carrots, asparagus tips, beets, green or waxed beans, pumpkin,   spinach, squash (acorn) without seeds, potato (no skin), pureed or cooked   strained lima beans, and peas (no skin)


Most canned or cooked fruits, fruit cocktail, avocado, canned   applesauce, apricots, peaches, pears (all without skin and seeds), pureed   plums and ripe bananas

Strained fruit juice


Milk, mild cheese, cottage cheese Yogurt (no berries)

Ice Cream (no fruit or nuts)

*limit milk/milk   products to 2 cups per day


Ground or well-cooked, tender beef, lamb, ham, veal, pork, fish shellfish, poultry (no skin), and organ meats, eggs

Smooth peanut butter


Margarine, butter, vegetable oils, mayo, cream substitutes, Crisp   bacon

Plain gravies, and salad dressings


Broth, strained cream soups (no corn) made with allowed ingredients


Salt, soy sauce, ketchup

Mild spices in moderation, white sauce Sugar, honey, jelly, syrup

Lemon juice, vinegar, vanilla and   other flavoring extracts Coffee, tea, carbonated beverages and fruit drink   (without pulp)


Any   bread product made with whole-grain flour or graham flour, bran, seeds, nuts,   coconut, or raw or dried fruit, cornbread, and graham crackers Any   whole-grain, bran, or granola cereal, oatmeal and cereal with seeds, nuts,   coconut or dried fruit Bran, barley, brown and wild rice


Raw vegetables and vegetables with seeds, sauerkraut,   winter squash, and peas


Raw or dried fruit, all berries,  Prune   juice


Yogurt   containing fruit skins or seeds


Tough fibrous meats with gristle, shellfish with   tough connective tissue

Meats prepared with whole-grain ingredients, seeds,   or nuts

Dry beans, legumes, peas and lentils Chunky peanut butter

Raw clams and oysters


Any made with whole-grain flour, bran, nuts, seeds,   coconut, or dried fruit

Nuts, and popcorn

Raisins, seeds, seed spices, pickles, olives, Spicy mustards,   and relish

Highly spiced  salad dressings

Jam or marmalade with nuts and seeds


Beverages and gelatins that are red or purple in   color up to 24hrs. prior to procedure


Change to this diet ONE DAY before your Colonoscopy.

You will return to your regular diet after the procedure. 


Do not drink

  Water (plain, carbonated or flavored)

  •   Fruit juices without pulp, such as apple or white grape juice
  •   Fruit-flavored beverages, such as fruit punch or lemonade
  •   Carbonated drinks, including dark sodas

(cola and root beer)

  •   Gelatin (Jell-O)
  •   Tea or coffee without milk or cream
  •   Sports drinks
  •   Clear, fat-free broth (bouillon or consommé)
  •   Honey or sugar
  •   Ice pops without ANY milk, bits of fruit, seeds or nuts


  • Anything red or purple. These liquids can look like blood in the   colon.
  •   Milk
  •   Artificial creamers
  •   Fruit or vegetable smoothies
  •   Alcohol