Cisapride does not improve precolonoscopy bowel preparation with either sodium phosphate or polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage

Gastrointest Endosc. 2001 Aug;54(2):180-5. doi: 10.1067/mge.2001.116562.


Background: Oral sodium phosphate solution (NAP) and polyethylene glycol-electrolyte lavage (PEG-EL) are used for precolonoscopy bowel preparation. The benefit of adding cisapride to PEG-EL is controversial, and its influence on the effectiveness of NAP has not been investigated. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether cisapride improves the effectiveness and/or tolerableness of bowel preparation with either NAP or PEG-EL.

Methods: In 187 patients undergoing colonoscopy, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a Latin square design was conducted to compare 4 different bowel preparations: NAP plus either cisapride (10 mg; 2 doses) or placebo, or PEG-EL plus either cisapride (10 mg; 1 dose) or placebo. Quality of the bowel preparation was graded by the endoscopist according to the amount of stool present in the colon (excellent, satisfactory, unsatisfactory). To assess tolerability, patients rated 8 symptoms, the taste of the lavage solution, and the ease of preparation on a 5-point scale (1: easy; 5: distressing).

Results: Endoscopists scored the bowel preparation as either excellent or satisfactory as follows: NAP: cisapride 50% versus placebo 61% (p = 0.3); PEG-EL: cisapride 80% versus placebo 78% (p = 1.0). Cisapride did not improve tolerability or the frequency of adverse symptoms associated with either solution. The ease of bowel preparation was significantly better in the NAP group versus PEG-EL group (mean score 1.8 versus 2.8; p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Cisapride does not improve the quality of bowel preparation with either NAP or PEG-EL. NAP is better tolerated by patients than PEG-EL; however, PEG-EL results in better bowel preparation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Cisapride / administration & dosage*
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Phosphates / administration & dosage*
  • Phosphates / adverse effects
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Solutions
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*


  • Phosphates
  • Solutions
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • sodium phosphate
  • Cisapride