New bowel prep drink easier to take: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new 2 liter bowel cleansing solution for colonoscopy appears to work as well as the standard 4 liter solution and is more acceptable to patients, researchers report.
Unlike the standard solution, the new solution contains ascorbic acid. The addition of ascorbic acid not only improves the taste, it also reduces the effective volume of solution needed for adequate gut cleansing, Dr. Christian Ell, from Dr. Horst Schmidt Kliniken, Wiesbaden, Germany and colleagues report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
They tested the safety, efficacy and acceptability of the 2 liter polyethylene glycol plus ascorbic acid solution (PEG+Asc; Moviprep, Norgine, Harefield UK) with that of the standard 4 liter PEG plus electrolytes solution (PEG+E; Klean-Prep, also from Norgine) for bowel cleansing before colonoscopy.
Both groups drank half of their assigned solution in the evening before the colonoscopy and the other half early in the morning of the procedure.
The new 2 liter solution was as effective as the 4 liter solution and was significantly more acceptable to patients, Ell and colleagues report.
Patients who drank the 2 liter solution reported significantly less nausea and abdominal pain than those who drank the standard 4 liter solution.
Patients were also asked about the acceptability and taste of the cleansing agent and rated the 2 liter solution significantly better than the 4 liter solution on both counts, the investigators report.
Adequate bowel preparation is one of the most difficult aspects of colonoscopy. Many people have difficulty consuming the large volumes (3 to 4 liters) of fluid required to cleanse the gut before the procedure. Investigators are hopeful the new low-volume solution will improve patient compliance and tolerability.
SOURCE: American Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2008.