MiraLAX Bowel Preparation

This information describes how to take polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX®) to empty your colon before certain surgeries or procedures.

Purchase Supplies

Purchase the supplies listed below at your local pharmacy. You do not need a prescription.

  • 1 (5 mg) tablet of bisacodyl (Dulcolax®). These are usually sold as a box of 10 tablets.
  • 1 (238 gram) bottle of polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX)
  • 1 (64-ounce) bottle of a clear liquid that is not red, orange, or purple
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The Day Before Your Surgery or Procedure

Follow a clear liquid diet

You will need to follow a clear liquid diet the day before your surgery or procedure. Examples of clear liquids are listed in the table below.

  • Do not eat any solid foods.
  • Do not drink anything red, purple, or orange.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of liquids in addition to water, coffee, and tea. This helps to make sure that you get enough calories and is an important part of your colonoscopy preparation. Try to drink at least 1 (8-ounce) glass every hour while you’re awake.
  • If you have diabetes, you should drink only sugar-free clear liquids and check your blood sugar level often. If you have any questions, talk with your healthcare provider.
Do Not Drink
  • Clear broth or bouillon
  • Clear consommé
  • Packaged vegetable, chicken, or beef broth
  • Any products with any particles of dried food or seasoning
  • Gelatin (such as Jello®)
  • Flavored ices
  • Sweeteners, such as sugar or honey
  • Anything red, purple, or orange
  • Water
  • Clear fruit juices, such as white cranberry, white grape, apple
  • Soda and sports drinks, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, Gatorade®
  • Tea or black coffee (no cream)
  • Juice with pulp
  • Nectars
  • Milk
  • Alcoholic beverages

Prepare your MiraLAX bowel preparation

On the morning before your procedure, mix all 238 grams of MiraLAX with the 64 ounces of clear liquid until the MiraLAX powder dissolves. Once the MiraLAX is dissolved, you can put the mixture in the refrigerator, if you prefer.

Take your MiraLAX bowel preparation

The MiraLAX bowel preparation will cause frequent bowel movements, so be sure to be near a bathroom the evening before your surgery or procedure.

At 3:00 pm on the day before your surgery or procedure, take 1 bisacodyl tablet by mouth with a glass of water.

At 5:00 pm on the day before your surgery or procedure, start drinking the MiraLAX bowel preparation.  Drink an 8-ounce glass of the mixture every 15 minutes until the container is empty. When you’re finished drinking the MiraLAX bowel preparation, continue to drink clear liquids until midnight or until you go to bed.

  • Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) or A & D® ointment to the skin around your anus after every bowel movement. This helps prevent irritation.
  • Drink 4 to 6 glasses of clear liquids after you finish the MiraLAX. You may continue to drink clear liquids until midnight, but it is not required.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. Take only the medications your healthcare provider instructed you to take with a few sips of water.
  • Follow any additional instructions your healthcare provider gave you regarding your surgery or procedure.
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