Product Review

A bowel prep is a product used at home to empty the colon in preparation for a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Pico-Salax®, a reliable bowel prep product for more than thirty years (in Canada since 2004), is now available in a lactose-free, cranberry flavour formulation. Both the cranberry and orange formulations are natural flavours and gluten free, but only the cranberry product is lactose free. Patients who are lactose-intolerant, or who would simply prefer a cranberry flavour, will especially appreciate this new option.

Pico-Salax® is for patients aged one year and older and is available in packages containing one or two sachets of powder. Your physician may give you specific instructions, especially regarding the timing of your bowel prep, but adult patients usually combine one sachet with 150mL of cold water and mix well. Similar to the orange formulation, this new cranberry product produces a white milky solution when combined with the appropriate amount of water, but it will smell and taste like sweetened cranberries (contains an artificial sweetener).

During the four hours after you drink the Pico-Salax® mixture, it is important to drink 1.5-2L of clear fluids. These drinks could include water, clear sports drinks, apple juice, white (not red) cranberry juice, white (not purple) grape juice, ginger ale, broth, tea, or coffee (sweetened to taste, but no milk, cream, or soy). As a general rule, if you can’t see through it, then don’t drink it! A few hours later, you will take another dose in a similar manner. It is best that you do not drink any fluids during the two hours before your procedure.

As always, make sure you confirm specific instructions with your physician before using any bowel prep, especially if you are pregnant, diabetic, or taking any medications or supplements. You should be able to find Pico-Salax® at your local pharmacy. The universal product codes (UPC) for your pharmacy to order these products are 7917016590 or 591 for orange and 7917016592 or 593 for cranberry.

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 181 – 2012
Note: The GI Society has received no remuneration from Pico-Salax® or its affiliates for this review.