Fainting During Colonoscopy Prep: Is it common?

The topic of fainting during colonoscopy prep is one you’ll see across the internet when researching what to expect during the prep process—but is it normal and, more importantly, how can you avoid it? Today, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about this common concern. Read on for the expertise and insight you need for a calm, confident prep process.

Is fainting during colonoscopy prep common?

While colonoscopy prep can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, fainting during colonoscopy prep is rare and not something you should expect.

Why might colonoscopy prep make you dizzy?

The goal of colonoscopy prep is to empty your bowels completely so your doctor can clearly see inside the colon. In the 24 hours leading up to your procedure, you’ll be in the fasting window and asked to consume only clear liquids along with your oral laxative solution. As you begin taking your oral laxative, you’ll experience the frequent urge to empty your bowels—this can lead to dehydration and/or drops in blood sugar that may cause you to feel nauseous, dizzy, lightheaded, and/or thirsty.

What should I do if I feel like fainting during colonoscopy prep? 

If you’re feeling lightheaded to the point of possibly fainting during colonoscopy prep, this is likely a sign of low blood sugar or dehydration. Without being able to eat solid food—you’ll want to consume  clear liquids and/or a colorless carbonated beverage to settle your stomach. Avoid anything with red, blue or purple dyes.

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How can I set myself up for success and avoid fainting during colonoscopy prep?

It all comes down to proper nutrition and hydration—as low blood-sugar levels and dehydration are the two main components behind side effects like dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, and/or the rare instance of fainting during colonoscopy prep. Combating these side effects is exactly why we created CF(Colonoscopy Kit)®. We developed our medical-grade CF(Rehydrate)® electrolyte drink and bundled it with the #1-recommended gentle laxative to create a colonoscopy kit that helps ease the discomfort that’s often synonymous with the prep process. The end-result is enhanced hydration, boosted electrolytes, reduced discomfort, and a faster post-op recovery.

Patients also love to use the electrolyte drink that comes in our colonoscopy kit as a “chaser” to mask the taste of their prep powder. Our electrolyte drink is particularly delicious when chilled—so be sure to order your colonoscopy kit in advance and place your bottles in the fridge to chill at least one day before you embark on the prep process.


Overall, fainting during colonoscopy prep is rare—and grueling side effects are easier to avoid if you remain aware of staying properly hydrated and nourished with colorless liquid nourishment that complies with your doctor’s orders.


Browse the rest of the CF Nutrition blog for empowering health, wellness, and lifestyle tips. And don’t forget to fuel yourself and your family this flu season with the clean, clinical replenishment and immune support of CF(Rehydrate)® Immunity +.


Disclaimer: Miralax® is a registered trademark of Bayer. For more information, including drug facts, directions and other information, please see Miralax.com or visit our website for additional support.

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