Aim: To prospectively investigate the effectiveness and patient's tolerance of two low-cost bowel cleansing preparation protocols based on magnesium citrate only or the combination of magnesium citrate and senna.
Methods: A total of 342 patients who were referred for colonoscopy underwent a colon cleansing protocol with magnesium citrate alone (n = 160) or magnesium citrate and senna granules (n = 182). The colonoscopist rated the overall efficacy of colon cleansing using an established score on a 4-point scale. Patients were questioned before undergoing colonoscopy for side effects and symptoms during bowel preparation.
Results: The percentage of procedures rescheduled because of insufficient colon cleansing was 7% in the magnesium citrate group and 4% in the magnesium citrate/senna group (P = 0.44). Adequate visualization of the colonic mucosa was rated superior under the citramag/senna regimen (P = 0.004). Both regimens were well tolerated, and did not significantly differ in the occurrence of nausea, bloating or headache. However, abdominal cramps were observed more often under the senna protocol (29.2%) compared to the magnesium citrate only protocol (9.9%, P < 0.0003).
Conclusion: The addition of senna to the bowel preparation protocol with magnesium citrate significantly improves the cleansing outcome.