Never Again

I was scheduled for a colonoscopy on Wednesday of this week. I was instucted to start my prep on Tuesday. A little background: I have chronic diarrhea which seems to be well controlled by Amitriptyline. My doc thinks it's IBS-D, but he suggested the colonoscopy just to be safe. Anyway, so Tuesday came and I was ready to start my prep. I was suppose to take 4 dulcolax tablets at 9am, which I did. An hour came and I found myself in the bathroom, but for the wrong reason. I was throwing up like crazy! I am an emetaphobiac, which means I have a terrible fear of nausea and vomiting. I called the nurse and told her what happened. I was a bit upset because whenever I am prescribed any drug the first thing I ask about is side effects (because of being scared of puking). She told me she has never heard of anyone throwing up from the Dulcolax, and told me to proceed to continue on to the liquid prep as instructed. She told me "you must just have some sort of stomach flu".  Well, my liquid prep was a combination of Miralax and Gatorade. I asked her if there were any known side effects of throwing up and she told me no.

Well, at 6pm I started my liquid prep. I was actually able to get all of it down and was feeling quite proud! Until 2 hours later. I violently vomited a large portion of the mixture. It was "projectile" vomit, and it was shooting out so forcefully that blood came with it. I continued to vomit well into the night. Diarrhea also began to kick in, as expected - so I was on the toilet holding a bucket. I vomited so much and so harshly that blood vessels in my face had popped. My husband started to worry and called poison control to see if it was normal to take the amount of Dulcolax/Miralax as prescribed to me. The man at poison control told him yes, they do often prescribe this, but it makes a lot of people very ill. So, I wondered why the nurse I spoke to earlier had denied this!?!

The next morning after getting no sleep and still feeling severely ill I was told that I could not have my colonoscopy because I had vomited so much of the prep up that they doubted that my colon would be clean enough. I was relieved by that anyway, because I could hardly get out of bed. But I was also disappointed, because I went through all that hell for nothing.

They called later that day to try and tell me I need to reschedule and try the prep again, but I told them no. I told them I want to meet with my doctor to see if we can skip this procedure, because it made me so ill. So as it stands, I meet with my doc in a couple weeks in hopes to agree on just letting me skip this. Nobody will be able to talk me into this again.

It is now Saturday morning, and I am finally able to keep my food down without feeling nauseated. I also finally took a semi-normal looking crap. I had lost my voice due to all that vomiting and now I am just starting to get my voice back.

I read through some horror stories related to this and found that becoming ill is actually very common with colonoscopy prep. I have lost 10 pounds in 4 days. I am actually quite devasted by all of this, and I know it sounds crazy, but anyone who has a phobia of vomiting will understand where I am coming from. It will take me a long time to get over this, and I certainly don't think I will ever be able to try this again, or even drink Gatorade for that matter.

I wish everyone else the best of luck that has to go through this.

Thekillerqueen Thekillerqueen
26-30, F
13 Responses Mar 6, 2010

You all have my sympathies. I am in bed as I write this recovering, not from the colonoscopy, but from the prep. I've had 10 hours of abdomibal pain, often spiking to blinding agony, along with nausea, dizzyness, chills, blurred vision & back pain.

I am utterly appaled at the dosage of Miralax, the normal dosage is 17g yet I was told to take 238g, a figure so large that I had to call the clinic to make sure that it wasn't a typo. It was so bad when I called Poison Control they actually had no data on overdoses that high. I didn't even get it all in, I threw up some of the last glass up & didn't finish the rest so I may only have had 180g. I tried calling my GI doctor (hence forth referred to as Dr Jerkwad) to tell him of the trouble I've had with laxatives previously (causing abdominal pain) & my concern that I'd been prescribed 3 laxatives, 2 of them at max doses & one massive overdose & all without an reference to my personal health. He continually interrupted me & he refused to believe that I was having problems, insisting that he would not do the colonoscopy unless I took all the Miralax & also the magnesium citrate the next day. I asked when the Miralax might wear off & I'd get some relief from the pain & he claimed 6 hours maximum.

Yet here I am, 13 hours after the first dose & I still have the squirts & pain. I've hardly slept & feel dreadful. At least the pain isn't as bad, but I'm still very sore with the pain coming in waves about 3-5 mins apart. Tylenol is taking the edge off it, but honestly my GI specialist is comming across as a total jerk who won't do anything about the pain & talks all over me when I try to tell him how bad it is, immediately going to "So you're saying you want to cancel...." or something similar, which was NOT what I was saying at all.

Clearly Dr Jerkwad is hopeless & has no idea what is going on or simply doesn't care. I have had clear BMs (well a yellow liquid, with no solids at all, which is what it is supposed to be like) since 5:30pm last night, after only ONE 8oz glass of Miralax/Gatorade mix, strongly indicating that the full 238g dose is ridiculously excessive. Yet he refuses to listen & insists that 238g of Miralax is fine & also insists that I also take the magnesium citrate 3 hours before my colonoscopy which is NOT going to happen as I will be unable to have the procedure when coiled up in pain.

Update. Post Colonosopy.

I did not take the magnesium citrate. When I arrived for my appointment I didn't tell them this. I tried to discuss the continued abdominal pain, nausea & headache with Dr Jerkwad & he simply blew me off & again talked all over me when I tried to discuss my symptoms. This got worse until I told him that there was no way that I would let him touch me & that he should go back to medical school to learn how to read medical notes & how to listen to patient's symptoms (I suspect that I have IBS-D & massive doses of laxatives are NOT a good combination). I left the room's door open to made sure the whole facility heard this. He got pissed off, but I again reminded him of warning signs regarding my reaction to laxatives, my suspected IBS-D, both of which he'd been made aware of & which he'd chosen to ignore, at which point he left hurredly.

I should point out that the clinic did NO Intake Assesment other than a standard tick-box form I had to fill out at the time I made the appointment to get scoped, which I find to be highly unusual. The first time I met a doctor was the day of the procedure, all other contact prior to that was with clerical staff only other than the time I called him on the phone regarding the Miralax dosage.

Anyway his partner then took over, at my request, & after being at the clinic for nearly 2 hours being dicked around by Dr Jerkwad the new doctor gave me something for the pain & nausea & I finally got some relief, for which I was very greatful. Dr Jerkwad could also have done this but he refused to do so. The new doctor then sat me down & we discussed all the issues I had, my intolerance to laxatives, the suspected IBS-D, the pain, vommiting & so on. I felt that at long last I was being listened to & that finally my symptoms were being taken seriously. He raised several areas of concern about the potential causes of my symptoms & what effects a colonoscopy might have, both during & after. He also discussed what he could offer to mitigate any problems & was willing to listen in return. We worked out a plan that had risks of possible extra pain but seemed managable. His approach was fundamentally different from that of Dr Jerkwad. After being given some drugs I felt no discomfort except for one occasion when I clearly remember grabbing someone by the arm & yelling "Stop!" but I have no idea why. I know part of the drug cocktail was Fentonil & that previously when given this I've felt like I was falling so that might be the cause.

In conclusion, I had a sucessful scoping with a perfectly clear colon. I asked if I was emptied out enough & was told that I'd done a good job & they had perfect visibility. To this I replied that not only had I taken no magnesium citrate at all, but I'd maybe only got 180g of Miralax down & added that the general, catch-all dosage that they had specified was clearly both unecessary & dangerous as it did not accomodate the individual & in my case lead to serious, debilatating pain. I received no response to my comment.

All in all I felt that the new doctor treated me as an individual, with my own set of symptoms, not like the arrogant Dr Jerkwad I'd first seen who seemed only to be able to think in terms of what works for "the average patient". However I will be following up with them on Monday regarding the massive Miralax dose as I am still experiencing pain & discomfort. I am eating again & can feel the food going through my insides like a ball of steel wool. Bowel movements are painful & my stomach gurgles loudly. I can deal with the pain, but it should not be this bad & the procedure needs to take into account the reaction of the individual.

I tried prep last week took 4 dulcolax at 4 pm got only 1 glass of gatorade and miralax down and got cramps went to the bathroom hardly made it out and passed out my boyfriend got me up off the carpet to go back to bathroom passed out again with poop all over floor ended up in er that night doctor's office has yet to call me back on this i was so scared

I did the prep for my first colonoscopy last night, also the Dulcolax/Miralax with Gatorade combo and I too was violently ill. I threw up after the Dulcolax, felt ok and drank the Miralax. An hour later, I had vomited probably 80% of it back up. I must have absorbed a decent portion though, because stuff is happening. I drank the rest of the Miralax at 5:30 am (I tossed and turned all night dreading it), but I got the bright idea to drink at a slower pace than prescribed this time. While I'm still nauseated, it's nothing like last night and I did keep it down. My Mother also gets sick from the prep, so I asked my specialist if it would make me sick and he said he'd never heard of that. This bugs. My procedure is in less than an hour. If I'm not "cleaned out" enough, I guess I won't be getting a colonoscopy. I can't face doing this again. I'm going to ask about the suppository option below.

Thanks for your story. Such a terrible experience!

This was 4 years ago. What's happened since then?

I've seen on other posts that you can use suppositories instead of the oral prep. So if you've got to do this again, I suggest you talk to your doctor about that option. (One I may consider if I have to do it again.)

I am in the middle of prep right now, and just threw up about half of the Miralax/Gatorade Solution. Grr... I did make it through the Dulcolax, but feeling nauseated the whole time! I am going to mix up another third, and space it out a little more to see it that helps. I do not want to go through this again. It's going to be a long night for me. Especially because I hate Gatorade in the first place! Best of luck to everyone.

My procedure is tomorrow am. I only did half of the movi prep and cant do anymore. I tried to cancel due to cold feet but they talked me into it. Im afraid to cancel and will just see what the Dr says in the morning. The prep is torture. I have a terrible headache and in agony. Never doing this again.

One other thing I should mention is that you shouldn't have to suffer with vomiting. That's one thing I find very concerning about the MoviPrep or TriLyte presc<x>riptions. Vomiting, cramping, bloating, rectal irritation, fatigue...that's no good at all.<br />
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What I don't get either is that I thought you can't do the colonoscopy if you have a flu.<br />
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Good luck!

That's awful! You may want to take a step back for a while and see another doctor. 4 Dulcolax definitely sounds like a lot and why do you have to mix Miralax with Gatorade? Why should Gatorade be part of the instructions? Gatorade is nothing more than pure sugar like soda from what I understand. A liquid diet can include chicken broth, apple juice, water, white grape juice, tea, popsicles and Italian ices (not red), and jello. <br />
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I really despise any instructions that cause or can potentially cause more harm than good.


I, too, am horribly phobic about vomiting and I, too, experience the EXACT same side effects from the Ducolax. Miralax/Gatorade prep. My nurse says it happens alot with this prep. The doctor told me he thinks it may be because of the acidity of the prep. Those of us with GERD or sensitive stomachs just have a hard time with it. Next time, he said to drink the prep slowly - not every 15 mins. I have never been so violently ill before. It was traumatic so I feel for you. <br />
Tips: take a different laxative and sip your prep every hour until it's gone. Drink ONLY as much magnesium citrate as A) your stomach can handle, and B) if you are already pretty cleaned out, stop drinking everything. I actually switched to H2O and Miralax later in the evening. I kept that down, but I drank slowly. Good luck!

The PEG 3350 (aka Miralax) mixed with Gator ("liquids") is a horrible, horrible thing. Very, very acidic which triggered a very severe GERD reaction. While miserable, I thought I could handle it. And did, until while just finishing up on the toilet, got incredibly nauseous. I think 3/4 of the liquids came up - and, while I'm not phobic about vomiting, I hate it so much, I can usually stop it. (Other exception: during my oral antibiotics for diverticulitis. So, so, horrible!)

So trying to power through. Just took the last of the bisacodyl. But will need to somehow finish the liquids (will start at 2 am vs. 3; can't eat or drink anything after 4. And premixed liquids, so can't have H2O and PEG 3350 as already in Gator.). And try to get at least some sleep.

I think, though, I'll be able to have the procedure, which is both the colonoscopy and the endoscopy. I will be happy to be knocked out!

It is not a matter of seeing if he agrees to letting you skip the procedure. It is your body and you decide what is done, noone else. If you dont want any procedure for ANY reason you say NO and there is nothing they can do about it. I have never had, nor will ever have, any form of invasive treatment / procedure. It is my choice. The doctors dont like it but there is nothing they can do except respect my decision.

My gosh I feel so bad for you!Im having a colonosopy this Friday and Im scared shitless!(No pun intended!)Im afraid I will crap myself on the way to hospital which is an hour drive gulp!

Based on your experience, you should be able to convince your doc to arrange for you to have preparatory enemas given beforehand to clean you out for the exam. I have IBS symptoms but neither of my colonoscopies have resulted in my doc making a conclusive diagnosis of IBS or anything else.<br />
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Stop taking them?! They're a necessary evil, in my opinion.