Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

158 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Took dulcolax 4 5mg and nulytely. Had colonoscopy. Found melanosis coli. What is the cause?

Answered by
Dr. Om Lakhani


Practicing since :2004

Answered : 319 Questions

Posted on Fri, 8 Feb 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I just had my first colonoscopy today, and only used 4 5mg Dulcolax tablets and Nulytely for the prep. I have never used laxatives before this as I have always been regular, except during my first pregnancy. The patent letter follow up stated Melanosis on the colon, and further explained that this is caused from excessive use of laxatives or herbal supplements. I will admit I have very poor diet habits, little or no fruits, very few veggies, and very little meat. I eat lots of cheese, bread, junk food, and lots and lots of Diet Dr Pepper. But I don't use laxatives of any kind even herbal ones, as I have no need or use for them. I certainly don't need them for weight loos, as I have been at a steady weight of 225 - 235 for the past ten years. What gives? I found many other people claiming the same thing throught the internet, both from men and women.
Answered by Dr. Om Lakhani 2 hours later

Melanosis coli is blackish discoloration of your colon as seen on the colonoscopy. Most often it is because of anthraquinone containing laxatives such as Senna. It is essentially a benign condition. However, since you have never used them you dont really need to worry about the diagnosis. It is a typical case of over reporting we sometimes see with endoscopy diagnosis. Remember a colonoscopy is subjective and gastroenterologist would have written what he felt was the diagnosis. If you have never really abused laxative then there is nothing to read into it. Even if you did in the past, melanosis coli is still benign and nothing anything really significant. Just relax and forget about the report.

Dr. Om Lakhani, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  
Drug/Medication ,  
Medical Procedures
Medical Topics

Recent questions on  Melanosis coli

doctor1 MD

Yes, they just reported that my colonoscopy showed melanosis coli from my laxative abuse. I told them there was a problem, I have never used a laxative other than what they give you for the test. I have multiple autoimmune conditions including Addison's disease. Would that have anything to do with it?

doctor1 MD

Colonoscopy just discovered melanosis coli which was not present 18 months ago. Have no history of laxatives, herbal supplements or green tea. What else could cause it? Irritable bowel is my presumed DX pending biopsies. Elavil conterdicted because of Remeron. Where do I search for a cause?

doctor1 MD

I recently underwent Colonoscopy , this was a diagnostic test done as I am 54 years old and the doctor wanted to have this done as a base line. The test was essentially normal, except for one observation : Abnormal mucosa in the Colon compatible...

doctor1 MD

Do you think that 2 years of using a senna tablet for a daily bowel movement will show melanosis coli? I will just use miralax now. Does this pigment interfere with the doctors visual of polyps? I am 48 y.o. and getting my first colonoscopy in 3 weeks. I am nervous. Thanks so much!

doctor1 MD

My colonoscopy indicated chronic constipation and it said that recall screening for colerectal cancer, average risk - v76.51 means what? I guess that is what they used as a reason for the procedure. Also the pictures shows terminal ileum, melanosis coli, appendiceal orifice, ileo cecal valve, and retroflexed view of the rectum, as a result of over use of laxatives for years, which the Dr. was not really concerned but put me on a laxative. Does that make sense?

doctor1 MD

My doctor found a ulcerated friable lesion at the level of the Ileocecal valve . I had colon cancer in 2009..My CEA 3 months ago was 1.5.. What this means? should I be worried?

doctor1 MD