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The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Prepopik (sodium picosulfate, magnesium oxide, and citric acid) for adults preparing for colonoscopy, offering a low-volume oral alternative to other colonoscopy prep laxatives.


"The choice of a bowel cleansing regimen for colonoscopy should be based on a patient's health and personal preferences," Victoria Kusiak, MD, Deputy Director of the FDA's Office of Drug Evaluation III, said in a news release. "This approval provides a new treatment option for patients and doctors to consider."


One dose of the drug consists of two packets of powder to be consumed separately, dissolved in water; people can either follow the split-dose regimen, consuming one packet of the drug the night before the colonoscopy and the second the morning of the colonoscopy, or follow the day-before regimen, taking the drug the afternoon and evening before the colonoscopy.


Information from the FDA notes that additional fluids should be consumed with and after taking Prepopik for the drug to work effectively and limit the risk of fluid and electrolyte imbalance.

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Common side effects include nausea, headache, and vomiting.


As a condition of Prepopik's approval, the manufacturer, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, is now conducting studies to test the safety and effectiveness in children.