Moviprep Prior to a Colonoscopy

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi everyone, I wanted to create this thread because last week I had a colonoscopy and used moviprep to prepare myself the day before the procedure.

Prior to this I read several forums with people stating it was the worst day of their lives and how horrible it was etc. I wanted to debunk all of this and to assure anyone going through this that it is not too bad of an experience.

My procedure was on Thursday at 07.15am. On the day before, Wednesday, I was told to follow the instructions on the moviprep. This meant a very low fibre breakfast. I made boiled eggs and had some boiled chicken. Not exactly an amazing breakfast but it is what is needed.

After breakfast (or 9am) I was told not to eat anything, but I could drink clear fluids, such as black coffee with sugar, water, Bouillon powder stock, clear fizzy drinks like sprite. Nothing colourful at all. I suggest when shopping for drinks, look at the colour and make sure it is very very low in fibre. Coconut water is good as well.

I have read that people started a low fibre diet two days before taking their moviprep, or at least a liquid diet. I didn’t need to, but each body to their own.

At 5pm on Wednesday I was told to start taking my moviprep. Now this is what I was deterred to use after reading reviews etc. It was completely the opposite and had nothing to worry about. Firstly the taste. I appreciate that Moviprep has come a long way in the last few years, but now they have a two sachets, a and b. The b sachet is the orange mix. I read that people started vomiting after taking sips, or had to suck a lollipop between sips etc. Im guessing this was the older version of Moviprep because it tastes good. I could have some right now if I had to. It tastes like orange dilute with a tangy ending. Easy to drink.

I think it was a good idea to chill your drink in the fridge as it taste even better that way. My taps produce very chilled water so I didn’t have to.

I was told to drink the whole litre, with a straw, in 1 hour (by 6pm). Then to drink half a litre of water straight after. It was a bit of a struggle to drink so much liquid in an hour. I did feel very bloated, but that is too be expected. Uncomfortable not painful. By 6.20pm I started going to the toilet and then did so every 15-25 mins after. I timed my movements after playing every game of FIFA. No issues (though I did lose a lot of games). Also I stopped drinking anything else but moviprep from then as was instructed.

Then I had to start drinking my 2nd batch at 8pm to 9pm followed by another half a litre of water. By 11.30pm I stopped going to the toilet. I did visit once in the morning when I woke up, and then again at 7am just before the procedure.

I suggest getting very soft toilet tissue, and wet wipes because you will get sore from all the wiping! Maybe take an ipad in there and watch something. You know the moviprep has worked when you only see pure liquid coming out. It doesn’t have to be clear, as it could be an orange colour. This is ok, its just the bile working. As long as its liquid and has no bits then it allows your surgeon to have a clear view inside.

As for the colonoscopy itself, the procedure was around 45 mins, but I remember 5 mins of it. This is normal due to the sedation. No pain, just slight discomfort.

All in all an ok experience. Not the worst in the world. Just something you have to do. You will get through it. It’s not too difficult. Just be positive and you will be ok.


If you have any specific questions please let me know. More than happy to assist



3 likes, 17 replies

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jay

    Having read your post I think you have demonstrated just how differently everyone reacts to Moviprep.  I don't know where you are based, but I am based in Devon, England.  I was diagnosed with moderate Diverticular Disease 15 years ago aged 51, after I had a severe attack of Diverticulitis, so was referred to hospital by my GP.  I have had 2 colonoscopies, one prepared with Picalax and one with Moviprep.  I prepared for the bathroom in a very similar fashion to you, thanks to helpful posts on the Forums, but with my Kindle and music.  However the timings and dietary preparation were very different - much more drawn out.

    I had to take Picalax as part of the prep first time, and did not find it too bad, much like you described your experience.  Bowel movements were quite fierce for a few hours, but that was all.  

    Over the years I stuck to the high fibre, low fat, gluten free diet recommended by my GP and had only three flare ups, until this year.  After 10 weeks of constant pain I went back and was immediately referred for bowel cancer screening under the 2 week urgent programme.  This time I was asked to prepare for a Colonoscopy with Moviprep, and when I asked for Picalax, was told the hospital had changed its preparation method as some people reacted to Picalax.  Despite me advising the hospital I had a hiatus hernia and could not take acidic liquids, they insisted I had to have Moviprep. I was given one with lemon acid flavouring which triggered my acid reflux and undoubtedly contributed to the problems I had.

    I did not find the diet preparation and fluid only part at all difficult.  I was able to eat certain foods like white bread, white pasta and white rice, plus eggs, steamed white fish and grilled chicken from 5 days before until about 48 hours before the preparation.  No fibre.  I then got by on herbal tea, chicken consomme, and clear apple juice which I was restricted to for the 48 hours before the final prep. 

    Regrettably I did not have the reasonable experience you had.  As you say, I had to get down 1 litre of the mixture plus half a litre of water over a one hour period.  As you can imagine, with acid reflux it was a real struggle to get in down and keep it down.  I took my 1st dose at 6pm.  At 11pm I was still in the bathroom.  During the night, clad in incontinence pads, I just managed catnaps, having to get up every 15 to 30 minutes.  The second prep at 5am was much harder.  I was due to leave at 12.15pm to get the bus to the hospital, but at 11.45am I was still using the toilet every few minutes.  I calculated I had in fact been using the toilet every 2 - 30 minutes for over 17 hours.  I realised I could never do the 2 hour journey by public transport, and had to ask my neighbour to take me to hospital, via the public toilets en route.

    I duly arived at 2.40 pm for my appointment and at 5.20pm was still in the waiting area, still going about every 20 - 30 minutes.  The final straw was, they were unable to do the procedure!  So all in all, not a good experience.  I had no appetite for a couple of days, and as soon as I did eat, it seemed that the Moviprep was still working - rapidly!!  It took about 5 days before I felt "safe" to go out without pads.  I have not come across anyone who had such an extreme reaction as I did, either in person or through these Forums.  In other words, I am the other extreme to you.

    But I want to conclude on a positive note.  I had to have a CT Colonoscopy instead, some 10 days later, and the whole experience could not have been more different.  The diet was the same, but this time the prep was Gastrographin.  I was all prepared for a repeat performance, but there was no problem getting down 100ml of aniseed flavoured liquid.  It seemed to have no effect and I had a good night's sleep with the precaution of an incontinence pad.  During the next day I had no urgent need for the bathroom, until after I had taken the 2nd prep.  Then I stayed in the bathroom for about 4 hours, but only needed to get up twice during the night.  In other words, very similar to your experience, and mine with Picalax.  There was no difficulty getting to the hospital for my 10.20am appointment. 

    The best outcome was no evidence of cancer, just severe Diverticular Disease.  So all I can say is everyone is different, and if you have other medical issues, you should listen to your body and make sure the medical profession listens to you.  I had reasonable experiences with Picalax and Gastrographin, but not with Moviprep.  Should I need further examinations, I will stick to my guns and refuse Moviprep.  I wish everyone undergoing a colonoscopy with Moviprep to have your experience, not mine!


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    • Posted

      Hi Felinia

      I'm sorry about what you had to go through but delighted that it was good news in the end!

      Thank you for sharing.

      FYI I'm in West London


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    • Posted

      I guess I was the unlucky one with my reaction.  I've read a few more posts on this Forum and several mention just 1 day's diet, and a two hour gap between both sets of prep.  Mine was a 5 day diet (3 bland white no fibre, 2 clear liquid only), and 12 hours between both preps.  Strange that different areas in the same country have such different procedures.  Another benefit(?) was losing 10 pounds over 8 days!

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    • Posted

      I think each NHS Trust has their own policy.  Mine was quite dogmatic about what they provided for prep, and quite fixed on the 5 day diet prep period.  My prep got posted into the wrong house, where the people were actually away on holiday, and it was only 4 days before, on a Monday, when I was able to get through to the right department in the hospital to arrange to pick up some more.  I was told quite sternly that their ability to carry out the colonoscopy might be compromised because I would not have followed the correct diet for long enough.  As it turned out it was the location of my Diverticular Disease that prevented the examination.

      I have followed a gluten free, very low fat, high veggie and fruit diet for years, and with the worsening of my DD, have rejoined Slimming World, with suitable modifications to the type of fibre I have.  In conversation with another member, her DD only started AFTER she had lost 5 stone over 18 months.  There is no doubt diet makes many bowel conditions worse though, so eating healthy is definitely the best way to go.  I frequently read posts where people have tucked into something like a cheeseburger with all the sauces etc, just a few days after feeling ill, and wonder why their pain has returned.  Now I love cheeseburgers, but I don't eat them any more!!  I get my fix by watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!!! lol

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    • Posted

      I've followed your other post and Picoprep is definitely the best of the current clear out preps.  I don't know where you are based but in the UK you don't get a choice, although next time I will fight not to take the awful Moviprep again.  Gastrographin was OK too but is specific to CT scans.

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  • Posted


    Lucky you! I had a colonoscopy last summer, when I was hospitalized for chronic diarrhea. The nurse came in with a gallon of clear liquid with instructions to "just drink the whole thing". The liquid tasted like 'canal water', although I've never had canal water !! It took me from 7 pm that eve until 3 pm the next day to force that liquid down.

    I am hopeful that for my next colonoscopy I'll get the 2 packages of powder to dilute. Hopefully, more people will have your experience, rather than the negative one such as mine. Might have helped to have had a Kind nurse, rather than the 'drill sargeant' I unfortunately got.

    Good for you!! Thanks for sharing a positive experience!!! Gives me hope. 😉

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for posting your experience, it has eased my worry so much , am having this procedure a week tomorrow. Thank you 😁

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  • Posted

    I had a colonoscopy last year - I am in the north east. I had moviprep. Just want to share a few details of mine, incase it helps anyone.

    The moviprep tasted ok at first. Yes, it does taste better chilled. The issue with it is that you have to drink so much of it and it gets repetitive and sickly. I had no issues with it coming out either - I had heard horror stories about how I would need baby wipes as it would be sore. That was not the case. It felt like a stream of water just coming out. Anyway - the prep went fine.

    Next day, I was dreading it. 2yrs before I had had a horrific sigmoidocopy experience and it had taken me 2yrs to pluck up the courage for this. I got undressed and put a gown on, and went into the room. I was crying my eyes out as I have health anxiety and I was terrified that the sedation they'd convinced me to have was going to kill me. Everyone kept saying "it's just like at the dentist", but I have never had sedation before so it wasn't helpful. Anyway, through all the tears, they sedated me. I felt a little bit drunk. I started chatting to the poor nurse who was holding my hand - I never shut up. I felt nothing, not even when she told me she was going round a bend and it might tug a bit. I just felt relaxed.

    After, I got dressed, had a cuppa and a biscuit, and went home and ate and drank normally. I felt stupid that it had taken me 2yrs to pluck up the courage. If I had to go get another one, I wouldn't be too bothered.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your post. I feel much better about having my col this afternoon. Until I can across this website I'd been googling colonoscopies & read some real horror stories. Nearly cancelled the procedure but after reading posts on here I feel much more confident. I've also found that Anusol cream helps with any soreness.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for posting this! I've got my first col this afternoon. Moviprep I'm taking is lemon flavoured. Took my 1st litre yesterday, one tumbler every 15mins from 7-9pm. Started second Moviprep litre at 6am this morning following same method. Chilling it does make it taste a bit better. It does taste revolting but not as bad as I was expecting. I've read some real horror stories & was really worried but after reading your post I feel a lot more at ease!

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  • Posted

    Superb, I like reading how just by creating a simple tread it has eased a lot of people's nerves.

    If you need any advice let me know.

    Also please keep posting your stories, it will really benefit those who are/will be going through it.


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  • Posted

    I'm glad you had a positive experience. 

    ?If others have had different experiences, that doesn't mean that their stories need to be debunked. 

    ?I had a bad reaction to colonoscopy prep, one that landed me in the hospital. I was told I had an electrolyte imbalance due to the prep. This is after my DH called for a ambulance, as I had vomitted repeatedly and finally passed out on the bathroom floor. 

    ?I would be the first to say that not everyone is going to have that kind of experience! But it does happen. 

    ?My view, having been through this, is that the side effects of colonoscopy are downplayed by the medical community. They aren't even discussed; you have to ask, and/or do your own research. I know I was completely unprepared for the side effects I experienced.  

    Side effects can be very serious, even life threatening. And while a perforated colon, or a dangerous electrolyte imbalance, is relatively rare, there are other side effects (nausea and vomiting, for example) that are quite prevalent.

    ?I was able to have a successful colonoscopy, after my second attempt at prep (which caused the same symptoms, but in milder form). Because of my history, I was given IV liquids as soon as I arrived for the colonoscopy test, and after the test as well - which helped).


    Colonoscopy is a very valuable test. It should be used judiciously (not overused), and both patients and doctors should be alert to possible side effects. 

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