Very good question. All solutions are a generic form of colyte; Golytely and NuLytely are brand names.
This large volume of liquid is quite extraordinary. It does not absorb into your body, nor does it cause you to become dehydrated. Because you drink 6-8 ounces every 30 minutes, you are "dumping" a large amount into your digestive tract, and the laxative-like properties of the solution force the stool to clear from your digestive tract by making you have bowel movements. The solution gently "washes" the bowel clean. Do not just sip the solution. It is important you drink 6-8 ounces every 30 minutes.
Please do not add any flavoring to the solution. You may chill it in the refrigerator for several hours before drinking it. You may also set the container in a bowl of ice to chill it while you are drinking. You might try sucking on a few hard candies or chewing gum. You can rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash. Do not eat or drink anything while you are drinking this solution.
You will have a feeling of fullness until you begin having bowel movements. You may have chills, you can expect mild cramping, and of course, you will have many bowel movements. You must be close to bathroom facilities.
Take a 30 minute break. It is most important that you continue drinking the solution if at all possible. Remember that it is the large volume that will help to empty your bowel. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to see the inside of your colon to complete the examination. If you do vomit, wait 30 minutes, and begin drinking the solution again. You might try taking 4 ounces at a time, rather than 8 ounces, and take it every 30 minutes. Remember, your goal is a clean colon.
If after you wait 30 minutes and you begin drinking the solution again and vomit a second time, please call the phone number listed in the instructions that were sent to you. The physician who is on call will ask some questions and suggest other strategies, or may decide that your procedure will have to rescheduled for another day using different type of prep.
Keep drinking, 6-8 ounces every 30 minutes. Most people have a bowel movement after an hour; some patients may take 2 hours or longer.
If you have drank the entire gallon or if your last 3 bowel movements in a row were clear water, so that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet, you are just fine. It is expected that you may have some flecks now and then. The yellow color is a result of bile that comes into your bowel from the gallbladder. This is normal and shouldn't interfere with the examination.
Use a wet washcloth to clean the area — avoid rubbing, rather, gently pat the area. Apply Vaseline® or Preparation H™ liberally.
We appreciate that taking preps to cleanse the bowel cause patients to be uncomfortable. If you have having problems not addressed in these questions, please call the phone number listed in your instructions and we will be happy to assist you further.