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      Sutab: Making Colonoscopy Prep Easier to Swallow

      Does the idea of preparing a colonoscopy leave a bad taste in your mouth?

      You are not alone. Fortunately, today’s preparation is easier than in the past with better-tasting liquid and even a pill form that’s an option for some patients.

      Prep is key

      Although preparing for a colonoscopy is considered the hardest part of the test, it’s also a critical step.

      The goal of colonoscopy prep is to clean any residue out of the colon. Anything left behind could cover a potentially cancerous polyp and prevent it from being detected and removed. That’s why doctors want you to start by cutting fiber from your diet two days before your colonoscopy, then switch to a clear liquid diet the day before your test.

      Your doctor will have you drink a preparation liquid the night before to cleanse your colon. That drink has a reputation for tasting bad and having larger amounts to drink. New liquid preps have come on the market featuring a better taste and smaller quantities. They usually take between one and four hours to begin working.

      In addition, RGA now offers Sutab - a pill that does the same job as that liquid.

      Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year, Sutab is taken twice over the course of two days, with patients consuming 12 pills each time. The second set of pills must be taken no sooner than four hours prior to your colonoscopy. This prep can start working in as little as 30 minutes.

      Although it can be more expensive, we increasingly have patients asking about Sutab – and for good reason. The medication was found to be 92 percent effective in trials, with 91 percent of patients saying it made colonoscopy prep easy. More than three-quarters of patients said they would ask for Sutab for a subsequent colonoscopy.

      Quality results are important

      Doctors have put a lot of effort into making colonoscopies more patient-friendly because we know how crucial they are. A high-quality colonoscopy – which is safe and well-tolerated by most patients – can remove polyps before they turn into cancer. No other screening test can prevent colon cancer.

      Earlier this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered the recommended age for beginning colonoscopies from 50 to 45 years old. The reason is because they were finding an increasing number of patients under 50 with colon cancer.

      No excuses to not schedule a screening

      Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 53,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer this year alone.

      The good news is that death rates are decreasing, primarily because doctors can begin life-saving treatment sooner – all because patients came in for colonoscopies.

      With today’s easier preps, there are no excuses for not being proactive with your health and getting a colonoscopy. Call RGA at 815-397-7340 to schedule a colonoscopy and learn if alternative preps, like Sutab, is right for you.