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Table 3 Risks and benefits of various bowel prep solutions

From: American Society for Enhanced Recovery (ASER) and Perioperative Quality Initiative (POQI) joint consensus statement on prevention of postoperative infection within an enhanced recovery pathway for elective colorectal surgery




Polyethylene glycol (PEG)


Large volume, poor taste

Sulfate-free PEG

Safe, better taste

Large volume

Low-volume PEG and bisacodyl

Safe, lower volume (2 vs. 4 L)

Still large volume

Sodium phosphate

Small volume

Electrolyte and fluid shifts, caution in cardiac/liver/renal dysfunction/elderly/dehydrated

Magnesium citrate

Low volume

Electrolyte and fluid shifts