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Picolax - will I be safe to drive 4 hours after taking it?

(36 Posts)
UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:23:49

I have a flexi sigmoidoscopy on Monday, and have been told to take Picolax at 7am the morning of the procedure.

Trouble is, the hospital is a 1.5 hour drive away, so I'll only have 4 hours after taking the picolax before I have to get in the car to drive to my appointment.

Is that enough time for it to work, and be safe to leave?

I've had this procedure before and was given a different laxative to take the night before - so at least I could relax and let it do its worst all evening. This time I'll be under pressure to get it all over with quickly!!

I spoke to the hospital and they said they could move my appointment to later in the day (which I don't want as she said I could suffer knock on delays, and I won't have eaten since 9am on Sunday so I'd rather not delay it any more than I need to) OR I could get up earlier, say 6am, to give it more time to work.

Any experiences of how long it takes to fully clear you out?

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 26-Feb-16 10:26:25

No! Definitely not!

I have regular colonoscopies and always do prep the night before for exactly this reason!

GrinAndTonic Fri 26-Feb-16 10:30:54

oh hell no! I swear I shat out a lung.

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:36:36

I'm wondering why they didn't advise me to do it the night before. The receptionist I spoke to sounded like she didn't really know, then went and asked for advice and was told it 'usually takes about 2 hours to work'.

Which is fine, but how long does it take to be over?!

I think I'll take it the night before - it won't make any difference to the procedure will it, as there won't be any new poo in there afterwards will there?!

Otherwise I'll just be panicking watching the clock waiting for it to kick in and hoping and praying it's all over before it's time to leave!

SmallGreenBouncyBall Fri 26-Feb-16 10:37:10

no. are you sure it doesn't say 7pm the evening before? that's what it said on mine. maybe phone the consutants office to clarify.

when I had to take it I was glued to the toilet for 3 hours. def not able to drive!

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:38:02

I think the problem is that they're not used to dealing with patients having to travel - I'm having it done at a specialist hospital, hence having to travel further than normal for it.

So I guess with a 1pm appointment, most people would be ok to take it at 7am. But not me.

SmallGreenBouncyBall Fri 26-Feb-16 10:38:48

and even if not shitting anymore I was lightheaded after and not safe to drive!

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:38:58

It definitely says 7am the morning of your appointment.

Seems very risky to me!!!

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 26-Feb-16 10:41:32

No, once it's done it's done,no new poo! Clear liquids only afterwards and you'll be fine.

Even when the poo is done, you can be shitting out water for a while after, so you don't want this whilst you are stuck in the car!

Get it over with the night before then there is no stress for the journey

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:43:20

My Dad has offered to drive me, but we tend to bicker, and I get VERY tetchy when I'm hungry at the best of times...!

But I think I'll just have to give in and let him drive, because I get light headed when I don't eat for a few hours - this will be 28 hours of no eating. Ugh, not looking forward to it!!!

I had MoviPrep laxative before - the worst bit was it had to be diluted into 1 liter of water. Drinking that vile lemony salty fluid without gagging was absolutely the worst bit. I then settled on the loo with a giant pot of vaseline, a pot of sudocrem and some special luxury Aloe toilet roll for my poor bottom. And my Ipad for poor me.

I just wouldn't be able to relax if I was on a clock countdown the morning of - I'll do it the night before.

snowymountaintops Fri 26-Feb-16 10:46:50

Def do it the night before and get your dad to drive you. I was 27 hours without food, not pleasant but oh my the idea of being stuck in a car!!!

snowymountaintops Fri 26-Feb-16 10:47:16

They will probably sedate you too so you absolutely cannot drive. Good luck!

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:49:45

Thank you, I'm so glad I asked! I'll defo do it the night before, then I can relax in the morning.

I doubt I'll be sedated - it is offered, but I've had this procedure before and I'm fine with it. I quite like seeing the screen, hah!

I've been on a low residue diet all week, I'm so bloody sick of bland yellow food! Cannot wait to have a salad and loads of wholegrain bread on Monday afternoon!!

BerylMeeps Fri 26-Feb-16 10:50:42

I'm going to have to supervise my DH taking his Movicol in a few weeks. He hates it, and due to stricture can't have too much at once. This means I need to monitor his fluid intake/ output and make sure he has enough as he gets so ill during prep 😰

Bunbaker Fri 26-Feb-16 10:54:52

"So I guess with a 1pm appointment, most people would be ok to take it at 7am. But not me"

No, that would be no people. Honestly, 4 hours after taking the stuff you won't be able to leave the bathroom. What on earth is the hospital thinking? Take it the night before.

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:56:29

Oh your poor DH Beryl that sounds awful. It's all so horrible.

Last time I had the procedure, my appointment was late morning, I hadn't eaten since breakfast the day before. But unfortunately, once I got there there was a long delay due to an emergency. So it was about 2pm before I got seen.

So I was sitting there, weak with hunger, having not eaten for about 30 hours, massive headache from low blood sugar, and there were people in the waiting room with me who were moaning that it had been a full 4 hours since they had eaten. angry

It's all just crap isn't it (pardon the pun!)

Hope your DH is ok.

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 10:58:25

Honestly, 4 hours after taking the stuff you won't be able to leave the bathroom

Weird isn't it. Maybe it's because it's just one sachet of picolax, whereas I've read others seem to have been given 2?

So what time is reasonable to take it in the evening - 8pm ish, to give me a few hours of shitting before going to bed?

peggyundercrackers Fri 26-Feb-16 11:04:30

There are 2 different procedures, one procedure only requires you take 1 packet, the other requires you to take both packets.

The procedure for 1 packet is only checking the last part of the colon - I think they call it the descending colon, the other procedure they check right round the large colon to where it joins the small bowel.

I only know this because DH has had both and we asked what the difference was when he went the 2nd time.

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 11:11:51

Yes, I'm having a sigmoidoscopy, which is the lower part of the colon, whereas a colonoscopy is the full colon I think.

So I only need to clear out the lower part? I don't get it, I imagined the stuff starts in your stomach and works its way down, like drain cleaner!!!

SmallGreenBouncyBall Fri 26-Feb-16 11:20:39

with the low fibre/low colour prep your bowels will be empty even with just the one packet.
I guess some drs prefer to recommend the 2 packets + diet because some people are not very compliant...

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 11:29:32

That's good to know.

I had a piece of chocolate cake yesterday that had raisins in it... I kind of felt that I had to because everyone else in work was having a piece and I didn't want to say I was on a special diet. There were probably 4 or 5 raisins in the piece that I had.... that will be ok won't it!?

Other than that, I've stuck to the low res diet. I am a good girl and always do what the Dr tells me!

Sidge Fri 26-Feb-16 11:52:51

Hell no!

It's not just take it, one big poo and you're done. It's take it, shit through the eye of the needle for ages and then you can still get some cramps and watery liquid for some time after.

Remember though after you take it you can't have anything except clear fluids until after the procedure, so factor that in.

Hope it goes OK.

UnGoogleable Fri 26-Feb-16 13:26:15

Yeah, I know I'll be shitting through the eye of a needle, been there done it before! Just couldn't figure out the timescales of it all. Can't wait grin

I'm not allowed to eat anything but clear fluids from 9am the morning before the procedure anyway, so whether I take the evil stuff in the evening, or the morning of doesn't make any difference. I'll be nil by mouth from 9am the morning of as well, which seems a little extreme.

I suffer severe headaches when I get low blood sugar or when I'm dehydrated. Monday is going to be fun....

Sidge Fri 26-Feb-16 13:49:17

Lucky you! Not grin

Don't eat after taking the Picolax, it doesn't work on food eaten after it's worked IYKWIM. Once you've cleared the bowel you need to keep it clear.

Hope Monday goes well and you aren't NBM for too long flowers

megletthesecond Fri 26-Feb-16 13:51:56

No. It left me feeling fragile and wiped out.

The procedure will be worth it, you just have to hunker down and take it easy for a couple of days.

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