Colonoscopy with Magnesium Citrate

Preparation Instructions for colonoscopy procedure with magnesium citrate: Diet and Medication

7 Days Prior To Procedure

  1. Stop aspirin, products containing aspirin, Plavix, Aggrenox, Alka-seltzer, iron supplements, vitamin supplements containing vitamin E & C, garlic, Ginseng, Ginkgo Bilbao, Ginger, saw Palmetto, Pepto Bismol, multivitamins, fish oils, or any other herbal supplements.
  2. Avoid popcorn, nuts, corn, beans & poorly digestible vegetables (corn, broccoli, etc)
  3. Stop non-steroidal inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc. Tylenol is permitted

3 Days Prior To Procedure

• Stop Coumadin/Warfarin

**lf you do take Coumadin/Warfarin, Lovenox, anti-platelet agents (Ticlid or Plavix) or other blood thinner, you must consult with your cardiologist or primary care physician regarding discontinuing these medications. If you have been instructed to continue any of these medications, you must advise your gastroenterologist prior to the procedure so that he can discuss with your doctor.

On the day before the procedure:

  1. You will need to go on a clear liquid diet the entire day. NO SOLID FOODS. You can drink clear liquids up to 3 hours prior to the appointment. Avoid juices with pulp such as orange or grapefruit juice. No dairy products, cream or soy. Coffee and tea are acceptable. Examples of clear liquids include broth or bouillon, Jell-O, clear juices, sports drinks such as Gatorade, sodas such as Sprite, 7-Up, or ginger ale, lemonade, Popsicles, coffee or tea and of course, water. Avoid red or purple colored liquids. You may use sugar, honey or lemon.

At 5:00 PM 

  1. Drink 15 fluid ounces(a bottle and a half) of lemon or lime flavored Magnesium Citrate. To improve the taste, chill it ahead of time.
  2. Immediately after drinking Magnesium Citrate, drink at least 2 to 3 eight ounce glasses of clear liquids.
  3. Continue to drink clear liquids until bedtime (at least 64 ounces during the day)
  4. The laxative effect can begin within 1‐4 hours. Be prepared to be near the bathroom during the preparation.


6 hours before arrival time 

  1. Do not have breakfast of any kind.
  2. Drink the remaining 15 fluid ounces (bottle and a half) of lemon or lime flavored Magnesium Citrate. You may have to get up in the night to take this dose. This is essential for a good preparation of the colon.
  3. Immediately after drinking Magnesium Citrate, drink at least 2 to 3 eight ounce glasses of clear liquids.
  4. Continue to drink clear liquids until 3 hours before your scheduled arrival time.
  5. All oral diabetic medications should not be taken the day of the procedure.
  6. Patients on insulin should contact the physician who prescribes the insulin for instructions for day prior to and day of procedure.
  7. Take all your heart, blood pressure, and seizure medication as usual with small sips of water.
  8. Allow enough time for the laxative to finish working before traveling.
  9. You should be accompanied by a friend or relative to drive or assist you home. You will not be allowed to drive for 12 hours after the procedure.
  10. Please arrive at your procedure location 1 HOUR PRIOR to your procedure’s scheduled time.


  1. Because you are receiving moderate sedation, you must have an adult (18 years or older) accompany you home. The driver must be flexible as the procedure may run longer than expected. If you do not have a ride, we cannot do the procedure with sedation.
  2. The person driving you must accompany you at check in for confirmation and instructions for pick up.
  3. You should not plan to work, schedule other appointments or meetings following your procedure. You should not drive for the remainder of the day.
  4. After your procedure is completed, you may experience some cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. This should discontinue promptly with the passage of gas.
  5. Generally you should be able to eat after your procedure, but your doctor may restrict your diet and activities ,especially if a polyp was removed.


  1. You should be prepared to be near the bathroom during this preparation. The laxative can take effect within 1-4 hours.
  2. The laxative will cause you to have very loose, watery stools. That is the goal. Take the entire laxative to be sure your colon will be well prepped for viewing.
  3. Consider having a soothing cream such as Vaseline, A&D Ointment, or Desitin available to reduce irritation from frequent bowel movements.
  4. Please pay close attention to the directions concerning what you should and should not eat and drink to avoid having to reschedule your procedure.
  5. You should allow enough time for the laxative to finish working before traveling.

Please call our office at 212 427 8761 if you have any further questions.

Manhattan Gastroenterology Locations:
Gastroenterology Upper East Side
983 Park Ave Ste 1D
New York, NY 10028
(212) 427-8761
Gastroenterology Midtown
51 East 25th St Ste 407
New York, NY 10010
(212) 533-2400
Gastroenterology Union Square
55 W 17th St Ste 102
New York, NY 10011
(212) 378-9983