Generic Name: docusate (DOK-yoo-sate)
Brand Name: Examples include Colace and Surfak
Docusate is used for:
Relieving occasional constipation and preventing dry, hard stools. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Docusate is a stool softener. It works by helping fat and water into the stool mass to soften the stool.
Do NOT use docusate if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in docusate
- you have undiagnosed abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or appendicitis
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using docusate:
Some medical conditions may interact with docusate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of bowel obstruction
- if you have nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or rectal bleeding
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with docusate. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Mineral oil because its absorption may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if docusate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use docusate:
Use docusate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take docusate by mouth with or without food.
- Take docusate with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking docusate is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- A bowel movement usually occurs 1 to 3 days after the first dose.
- If you miss a dose of docusate and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use docusate.
Important safety information:
- The risk of loss of normal bowel function may be greater if you take docusate in high doses or for a long time. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- If your symptoms do not get better within 1 week or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your doctor if you do not have a bowel movement or if you have rectal bleeding after using docusate.
- Do not take docusate with other laxatives or stool softeners, unless directed by your doctor.
- Do not use docusate if you experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or rectal bleeding, except under the direction of your doctor.
- If you notice a sudden change in bowel movements that lasts for 2 weeks or more, check with your doctor.
- Check with your doctor before using docusate in CHILDREN.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using docusate while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use docusate, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of docusate:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Bitter taste; bloating; cramping; diarrhea; gas; irritation around the rectum; throat irritation.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) fainting; nausea; vomiting.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include severe or persistent diarrhea; stomach cramps.Proper storage of docusate:
Store docusate at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep in a tight, light-resistant container. Keep docusate out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about docusate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Docusate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take docusate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about docusate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to docusate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using docusate.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.