You will be given a time to arrive at the clinic, usually on the day or evening before the study starts. You may be asked to phone a day or two prior to confirm that you are still interested and intend to show up. You will be told to abstain from drugs, most or all medications, alcohol, smoking, and possibly caffeine, multi-vitamins, and herbal remedies, as well as strenuous exercise. You may also be asked to fast (not eat) for 4-12 hours before coming in, though this is not common. You are expected to show up at or before your check-in time and you disregard this at your peril.
Arriving late without phoning ahead is never a good idea if the clinic has a surplus of volunteers. Upon arrival, you will usually need to repeat at least some of what was done on the screening day, i.e. blood and urine samples may be collected, as well as height, weight and vital signs, ECG, and a physical examination by the study doctor. You may also have your breath tested for the presence of alcohol and nicotine. At some clinics, you may be required by the staff to allow a search of your personal belongings. The reason for “bag checks” is to ensure that volunteers have not brought into the clinic anything that is prohibited. The search may be a thorough one, or just a quick once-over. Prohibited items include most or all of the following, depending upon the clinic: – Drugs and medications of any kind – Food and drink – Sweets/candy and chewing gum – Cameras (for privacy reasons) – Cellphones (they can interfere with medical equipment)