Generic Name: bisacodyl (bis-AK-oh-dil)
Brand Name: Examples include Correctol and Dulcolax
Bisacodyl is used for:
Relieving occasional constipation and irregularity. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Bisacodyl is a stimulant laxative. It acts directly on the bowels, stimulating the bowel muscles to cause a bowel movement.
Do NOT use bisacodyl if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in bisacodyl
- you have severe stomach pain; appendicitis; severe constipation; stomach, intestinal, or rectal bleeding; or intestinal blockage
- you cannot swallow without chewing
- you are having abdominal surgery
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using bisacodyl:
Tell your health care provider 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 heart failure, abnormal levels of fluids or electrolytes in your body, nausea, vomiting, or undiagnosed stomach pain
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with bisacodyl. However, no specific interactions with bisacodyl are known at this time.
Ask your health care provider if bisacodyl 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 bisacodyl:
Use bisacodyl as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take bisacodyl by mouth with or without food.
- Take bisacodyl with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking bisacodyl is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Swallow bisacodyl whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- Do not take bisacodyl within 1 hour after taking an antacid or milk.
- If you miss a dose of bisacodyl 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 bisacodyl.
Important safety information:
- Do not use for longer than 1 week without checking with your doctor. Using bisacodyl for a long time may result in loss of normal bowel function.
- Do not take additional laxatives or stool softeners with bisacodyl unless directed by your doctor.
- Rectal bleeding or failure to have a bowel movement within 12 hours after use of a laxative may be a sign of a serious condition. Stop use and contact your doctor.
- If you develop nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain, stop using bisacodyl and check with your doctor.
- If you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for 2 weeks or more, do not continue using bisacodyl. Instead, check with your doctor.
- Use bisacodyl with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Bisacodyl should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using bisacodyl while pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding take bisacodyl, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of bisacodyl:
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:
Cramps; faintness; stomach discomfort.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).
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 diarrhea; stomach cramps.Proper storage of bisacodyl:
Store bisacodyl at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep bisacodyl out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about bisacodyl, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Bisacodyl 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 bisacodyl 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 bisacodyl. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to bisacodyl. 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 bisacodyl.
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.
More about bisacodyl
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- Drug class: laxatives