Bowel Preparation

Prior to Laparoscopic Surgery

First - Purchase Picolax from your Pharmacist

Before you Take Picolax

Do Not Take Picolax If You Have:

  • an obstruction in your intestine (gut)
  • severe kidney problems
  • a perforated gut wall
  • gastric retention
  • severe inflammatory bowel disease, like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or toxic megacolon
  • an allergy to to any of the ingredients in the product.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, talk to your doctor before you take Picolax

If you are taking other oral medicines, speak to your doctor. Most other oral medicines should be taken at least one hour before or one hour after taking picolax because they may be flushed through your digestive system and not work so well.

However some medicines such as sustained release preparations or medicines with a narrow therapeutic window, such as the contraceptive  mini-pill, may need to be taken more than one hour before or after picolax contraceptive cover from the oral contraceptive pill is likely to be incomplete if it is taken at any time during the process of bowel cleansing with picolax  (an hour before the first dose of picolax until after the investigation).

Therefore an alternative method of contraception should be used for the length of the cycle when picolax  is taken.

Patients with diabetes should consult their doctor prior to use of Picolax

When to Take Picolax

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully.  They may differ from the information contained in this page.

Important:   Do not take any solid food from when you start to take Picolax until after the examination.

Two Days Before Your Procedure

Avoid eating brown bread, red meat, cereals, yellow cheese, vegetables, fruit or anything with nuts or seeds in it.

One Day Before Your Procedure

Only Drink Approved Clear Liquids       

When taking Picolax it is important to maintain hydration and electrolyte balance. Clear liquids include:

  • water,
  • clear soup,  chicken or beef broth
  • tea or coffee (without milk or non-dairy creamer),
  • all liquids (which are not coloured red or purple) including
  • fruit juices without pulp,
  • carbonated or non carbonated soft drinks,
  • fruit flavoured cordials
  • sports drinks, Gastrolyte, Barley sugar is allowed
  • jelly (yellow or orange),

Do Not Drink Water Alone

Drinking only water to replace the fluid losses may lead to electrolyte imbalance, particularly to hyponatraemia and possibly seizures.

A combination of these approved clear liquids will give a variety of fluid intake.

How to prepare picolax

Slowly add the contents of one sachet to a large glass of cold water ( approx 250ml).

Stir gently until effervescence ceases

How to drink picolax

Drink the solution slowly but completely, followed by a full glass of water. Continue drinking a variety of approved clear fluids* (approximately 250ml every hour) to ensure adequate hydration.

What to expect when taking picolax

Picolax usually induces frequent, loose bowel movements within two to three hours of taking the first dose

You should

  • Remain within easy reach of toilet facilities at all time while using Picolax
  • Not plan any other activities until after your procedure or examination
  • Consider using a plastic cover sheet as a mattress protector for the bed
  • Arrange for someone to take you to and from the procedure or medical examination
  • Replenish your system by drinking liquids after returning home from your procedure.
  • How to reduce discomfort

During the period of taking picolax you should consider the following:

  • Loose-fitting clothing is recommended
  • Alcohol-free and fragrance-free wet wipes and soft toilet tissue may minimise the expected irritation from wiping.
  • Frequent application of a protective cream, lanolin, petroleum jelly (vaseline) or zinc cream will reduce discomfort.

Side effects of picolax

Like All Medicines, Picolax  Can Have Side Effects.

Blood Sodium Levels Could Also Decrease, Particularly If You Take Medicines That Affect Your Kidneys, Such As Ace Inhibitors And Diuretics Used For The Treatment Of Heart Disease. Very Low Blood Sodium Levels Can Cause Convulsions (fits)

If Your Blood Sodium Levels Change, You May Feel Breathless, Very Thirsty With A Severe Headache Or Get Puffy Ankles.

How To Store Picolax

Keep Picolax Sachets At Room Temperature (below 30ºc), Stored In Their Original Packaging, And Do Not Use After The Expiry Date On The Label.

Keep All Medicines Away From Children

Picolax Product description

Each picolax sachet contains the following ingredients:

  • Sodium picosulfate 10mg    
  • Magnesium carbonate 7.9G  (equivalent to 3.36G magnesium oxide (mgo))
  • Citric acid-anhydrous 11.8G           
  • Lemon flavour           
  • Acesulfame potassium           
  • Povidone
  • Silicon dioxide