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

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 other than water,  coffee, and tea. 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, bouillon, or consomme
  • Any products with any particles of dried food or seasoning
  • Gelatin (such as Jello®)
  • Flavored ices
  • Sweeteners, such as sugar or honey, may be used
  • Anything red, purple, or orange
  • Clear fruit juices, such as white cranberry, white grape, apple
  • Soda, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, Gatorade®
  • Black coffee (no cream)
  • Tea
  • 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.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at ____________________. After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call____________________. If there’s no number listed, or you’re not sure, call 212-639-2000.
MiraLAX Bowel Preparation
©2015 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Generated on July 3, 2015