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Q. To prepare for my colonoscopy, my doctor said I should drink a special solution. Are those drinks kosher?

A. It appears that there are two types of solutions used to flush the patient's colon, one of which is polyethylene glycol-based (e.g. GoLYTELY) and the other is sodium phosphate-based (e.g. Fleet Phospho-soda EZ Prep). The ingredients used in the unflavored versions of both of these solutions do not pose a kashrus concern and may be consumed. These solutions are also available pre-flavored or with a "flavor pack" that one adds to the solution; it is preferable that one avoid using the flavor pack, but if you cannot swallow the drink without the flavor pack, then you may use it.

In recent years, a third option has become available - sodium phosphate tablets (e.g. Osmo-Prep, Visicol). As with all other inedible tablets which are swallowed (as opposed to chewed), these tablets may be used regardless of which ingredients they contain.