Are you due for a colonoscopy? The American Cancer Society recommends that anyone 45 and older, who is of average risk for colorectal cancer, should begin getting this essential screening. Your healthcare provider will recommend regular screenings every 10 years — or more frequently, depending on your age, health considerations and family medical history.
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths nationwide. The good news is that the death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping over the last several decades — thanks to early detection through colonoscopy screening. Detecting colorectal cancer early means a much greater survival rate, as screenings can detect the cancer before it spreads outside the colon or rectum.
If your doctor recommends that you get a colonoscopy for the first time — or if you’re due for your next one — you are probably aware that you’ll have to prepare for the procedure starting the night before. “It’s not at all uncommon to experience uneasiness ahead of prep night,” says Dr. Jack Di Palma of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and medical director for Braintree Laboratories. With just a few easy tips — and a little bit of planning — you can feel better about your next colonoscopy preparation and procedure.
How to Prepare for your Colonoscopy
Your healthcare provider will give you specific preparation instructions, so read them carefully and ask questions as soon as possible.
To help ensure your preparation and procedure go smoothly, Dr. Di Palma recommends the following tips:
1. Go shopping
You’ll likely feel more confident heading into your colonoscopy if you’re well prepared. A week before your procedure, make a list of everything you think you’ll need over the few days leading up to and immediately after your colonoscopy. Your list might look something like this:
- Clear liquids, like juice (without pulp), broth and sports drinks (avoid red and purple colors)
- Diaper cream and medicated wipes
- Reading material, like a new book or a few fun magazines
- A new subscription to the streaming service you’ve been wanting to try
- Soft toilet paper
2. Be prepared to change your diet
The day before your procedure, Dr. Di Palma recommends eating a breakfast of low-fiber foods, like white bread, cereals (without whole grains, seeds, raisins or dried fruit) and plain waffles. Do not drink milk or eat or drink anything colored red or purple and be sure to avoid alcohol. After that, switch to only clear liquids, like apple juice, broth, plain coffee or tea, clear sports drinks, ice pops and gelatin, until after your colonoscopy. Your healthcare team can help provide a list of specific foods and drinks you should consume (and avoid) leading up to your procedure.
3. Consider your options
A successful colonoscopy depends on completely clearing out the colon. Your healthcare provider will prescribe medication to do this, which is typically taken starting the afternoon or evening before your procedure. Traditionally, that medication has come in the form of a large quantity of liquid that must be consumed rapidly, according to instructions, to completely cleanse the colon.
Now, there is a new prescription medication that can be used to achieve the same result — without having to drink poor-tasting liquid medication as your preparation.
SUTAB (sodium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride) tablets offer a safe and effective alternative to liquid colonoscopy preparations. In fact, the tablets contain similar active ingredients to those used in common liquid preparations. It is taken in a split-dose administration starting the evening before the colonoscopy.
“I always recommend that patients talk to their doctor about available options when it comes to colonoscopy preparation,” says Dr. Di Palma. “The new sulfate-based tablet, for example, is a great alternative for patients who have previously struggled, or expect to struggle, with liquid preparations due to taste aversions or volume. For many patients, the tablet form is a welcome and convenient change from other preparations.”
To learn more about SUTAB, visit www.SUTAB.com or ask your healthcare provider.
4. Arrange time off — and a ride
You may experience discomfort and will likely need to rest following your procedure, so plan to take the day off from work and other obligations. Light sedation is typically administered during the procedure, so it’s a good idea to arrange a ride home from a family member or friend.
If you have been avoiding getting a colonoscopy due to the global pandemic, contact your healthcare provider to ask what safety protocols they are using and steps you can take to better protect yourself. Taking care of this crucial health screening is well worth the time and effort.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
SUTAB® (sodium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride) tablets for oral use is an osmotic laxative indicated for cleansing of the colon in preparation for colonoscopy in adults. DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: A low residue breakfast may be consumed. After breakfast, only clear liquids may be consumed until after the colonoscopy. Administration of two doses of SUTAB (24 tablets) are required for a complete preparation for colonoscopy. Twelve (12) tablets are equivalent to one dose. Water must be consumed with each dose of SUTAB and additional water must be consumed after each dose. Complete all SUTAB tablets and required water at least 2 hours before colonoscopy. CONTRAINDICATIONS: Use is contraindicated in the following conditions: gastrointestinal obstruction or ileus, bowel perforation, toxic colitis or toxic megacolon, gastric retention. WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS: Risk of fluid and electrolyte abnormalities: Encourage adequate hydration, assess concurrent medications and consider laboratory assessments prior to and after each use; Cardiac arrhythmias: Consider pre-dose and post-colonoscopy ECGs in patients at increased risk; Seizures: Use caution in patients with a history of seizures and patients at increased risk of seizures, including medications that lower the seizure threshold; Patients with renal impairment or taking concomitant medications that affect renal function: Use caution, ensure adequate hydration and consider laboratory testing; Suspected GI obstruction or perforation: Rule out the diagnosis before administration. ADVERSE REACTIONS: Most common gastrointestinal adverse reactions are: nausea, abdominal distension, vomiting and upper abdominal pain. DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drugs that increase risk of fluid and electrolyte imbalance.1
See Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide
Forward Looking Statements
This press release and any statements made for and during any presentation or meeting contain forward-looking statements related to Sebela Pharmaceuticals under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “planned,” “believe,” “forecast,” “estimated,” “expected,” and “intend,” among others. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the development, launch, introduction and commercial potential of SUTAB®; growth and opportunity, including peak sales and the potential demand for SUTAB®, as well as its potential impact on applicable markets; market size; substantial competition; our ability to continue as a growing concern; our need for additional financing; uncertainties of patent protection and litigation; uncertainties of government or third-party payer reimbursement; dependence upon third parties; our financial performance and results, including the risk that we are unable to manage our operating expenses or cash use for operations, or are unable to commercialize our products, within the guided ranges or otherwise as expected; and risks related to failure to obtain FDA clearances or approvals and noncompliance with FDA regulations. As with any pharmaceutical under development, there are significant risks in the development, regulatory approval and commercialization of new products. There are no guarantees that future clinical trials discussed in this press release will be completed or successful or that any product will receive regulatory approval for any indication or prove to be commercially successful. While the list of factors presented here is considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. Unlisted factors may present significant additional obstacles to the realization of forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof, and Sebela Pharmaceuticals does not undertake any obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except as required by law.
1 SUTAB® [package insert]. Braintree Laboratories, Inc., Braintree, MA: 2020.