If you have an allergy to polyethylene glycol, prep for a colonoscopy could be very dangerous. Many of the newer prep kits for pre-colonoscopy are made almost entirely of polyethylene glycol. Ask your doctor for the names of bowel prep kits he or she recommends ahead of time. Look up the ingredients – active and inactive ingredients – and make sure you find one that doesn’t contain PEG. There are preps that use magnesium citrate rather than PEG, but check the label for PEG in the inactive ingredients just in case.
Also, the lubricant used during the procedure will often have PEG or PG as an inactive ingredient. Make sure you talk to the doctor and nurses and tell them you need their help with an inactive ingredient. You can bring your own non-PEG lubricant and tell them that it is the only safe one to use.
Even better – make an appointment with the doctor and the hospital a week ahead, show them the lubricant you’ll be bringing the day of the colonoscopy and ask them for their help with your allergy. If they can’t promise that they will keep you safe from PEG, find another doctor.
Don’t put off important lab tests because you dread the frustrating process of explaining your allergies AGAIN. There are ways to mitigate risk when you have a glycol allergy, and there are medical caregivers who will help if you can find them.