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Vegan Colonoscopy Prep


Anatomy: Large Intestine

In the United States, colon cancer is ranked as the third most prevalent type of cancer, with an estimated 52,550 deaths in 2023. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to monitor for swelling, tissue irritation, polyps, and cancer within the large intestine (colon) and rectum, individuals between the ages of 45 to 75 are encouraged to speak with their healthcare provider and be screened for colorectal cancer every 10 years. For those that are between the ages of 76 to 85, an individual approach may be taken.



What is a colonoscopy? How is a colonoscopy done?

The primary method of colorectal cancer screening is a colonoscopy. For this screening, a physician will use a flexible handheld device equipped with a camera mounted at its tip called a colonoscope to look for changes through the rectum. If an abnormality or polyp is observed by the doctor, a tissue sample may be taken for lab testing. Some alternative options to colonoscopies are stool tests, flexible sigmoidoscopies, and CT colonography.


Colonoscopy Prep Medications

Before the procedure, bowel preparation via medication will be needed for clean results. Bowel preparation medications typically come in a container with powder to mix with water or clear flavored liquids, with detailed directions for use and with an approximate onset of action of 1 to 3 hours. Depending on the appointment time, each kit is typically started the day before the exam and completed that same day or the day of the exam with at least 3 hours of no liquids and food before the procedure. An alternative option to bowel prep solutions is Sutab, for patients who prefer to take tablets. Each box of Sutab has directions for use, 2 bottles of 12 tablets, and a cup with a water fill line. Once the colon and rectum are cleared, bowel movements should be a clear yellow liquid.

 

Colonoscopy Medications

Medication

Manufacturer

Total Volume

Flavor

Animal-Free?

Certified Animal-Free?

Gavilyte-C

Lupin

At Least 136 oz

Lemon

Yes

No

Gavilyte-G

Lupin

At Least 136 oz

Lemon

Yes

No

Gavilyte-N

Lupin

At Least 136 oz

Lemon, Cherry, Orange

Yes

No

Clenpiq

Ferring Pharmaceuticals

At Least 83 oz

Cranberry

Yes

No

Braintree Labs

At Least 128 oz

Pineapple

Yes

No

Suprep Bowel Prep Kit

Braintree Labs

At Least 96 oz

Berry

Yes

No

Sutab

Braintree Labs

At Least 96 oz

No Flavor (tablet)

Likely

No

Moviprep

Salix/Bausch Health

At Least 96 oz

Lemon

Manufacturer could not confirm*

N/A

Plenvu

Salix/Bausch Health

At Least 64 oz

Mango

Manufacturer could not confirm*

N/A

*Please be advised that VeganMed is unable to provide information concerning products manufactured by Bausch Health. VeganMed does not have access to information regarding Bausch Health products due to restrictions imposed by the manufacturer. We recommend contacting Bausch Health directly (800-321-4576) for assistance or information regarding their products.


Colonoscopy Medications Side Effects

Common Side Effects

 Warnings/Precautions

  • Stomach pain

  • Anal irritation

  • Bloating

  • Feeling full

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Stomach cramps

  • Upset stomach

  • Rectal pain

  • Signs of allergic reactions

  • Fluid (dehydration) and electrolyte abnormalities

  • Seizures

  • Arrhythmias

  • GI ulceration/inflammation


How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

Before a colonoscopy, sticking to a strict bowel prep diet is as important as taking bowel prep medications appropriately. Below is a chart of dietary do’s and don’ts before a colonoscopy:

Do's

Don'ts

Liquids:

  • Clear liquid diet

  • Herbal teas, water, clear broth, clear fruit drinks (no pulp)

  • Black coffee (no additives)

  • Sports drinks (with no dyes or can dilute the sports drink, talk to your provider prior)

Foods:

  • Smooth peanut butter

  • Tofu

  • Applesauce

  • Banana

  • Vegan chocolate

  • Jelly (no jam or preservatives)

  • Salt/sugar okay

  • Strained tomato sauce

  • Sorbets/ popsicles (without artificial dyes or fruit pieces)

  • Refined breads: rolls, bagels, english muffins, crackers, pancakes, or waffles

  • Broths (vegetable or miso soup)

  • Jello: vegan or agar agar gelatin

Liquids:

  • Anything with dyes, milk, orange/grapefruit juice, alcohol

 

Foods:

  • Solid foods (all raw/dried vegetables and fruits), bread with high fiber (whole grain), rice/grains, seeds/nuts, pepper, ketchup, cream

 

Miscellaneous:

  • Marijuana or other illicit substances

Conclusion

Although in most cases, colorectal cancers grow slowly, remaining up to date with screenings is crucial for early detection and prevention. We are happy to share 7 likely animal-free bowel prep medications but we can't be sure unless they are independently certified. For a successful bowel exam, remembering to follow the instructions given by your provider around medications, diet, fluids, and travel are integral.


Co-authored by: Mary Papikian

 

Disclaimer: The product and/or information provided on VeganMed is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not lab test the products to confirm that they are free from animal ingredients, and it is possible that the formulation and ingredients could have changed. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or product. The information provided in this post is accurate and up to date as of the date it was written. However, please note that circumstances and facts may change over time, and new information may become available that could alter the accuracy or relevance of the content. We encourage readers to verify and cross-reference any information provided here with trusted sources or consult relevant professionals for the most current and accurate updates.


 

Looking for certified and verified animal-free products?



Thank you for your awareness and concern for animal-derived ingredients!


As a reminder, please comment on our FDA Citizen Petition, requesting clear labeling of animal-derived ingredients in medications. Together, we can make a difference.


If you have any further questions about ingredients in your medicines and supplements, feel free to reach out to the VeganMed team!


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