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How is the magnesium citrate bowel preparation done?

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Quick Answer

Magnesium citrate bowel preparation begins the day before an individual's colonoscopy, according to Norton Healthcare. The patient drinks one bottle of clear of green magnesium citrate at 1 p.m., another at 2 p.m. and a third at 6 p.m. After this, three Dulcolax pills are swallowed.

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On the day prior to the procedure, patients are allowed only a clear-liquid diet, explains Norton Healthcare. This includes broth, Jell-o, ice pops, coffee, tea, lemonade, clear soda and Gatorade. These must not contain red or purple dyes. Nothing is ingested after midnight, not even gum or mints. Until going to sleep, the patient must drink 8 ounces of water at 2-hour intervals.

Once bowel movements are clear, the preparation is successful, Norton Healthcare states. If this is not the case, a patient must undergo a water-based enema. On the next day, 5 to 6 hours before the procedure, the patient begins drinking two more bottles of magnesium citrate to ensure a complete cleansing.

Patients should come to colonoscopy appointments with a list of any medications and prior surgeries, advises Norton Healthcare. A driver should accompany each patient. Besides not getting behind the wheel, patients should avoid operating machinery or making important decisions the day of the procedure. Once home, their condition should be monitored for 4 hours.

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