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Docusate Sodium

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 15, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Docusate sodium is also known as dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (C20H37NaO7S) is a common surfactant found in over-the-counter laxative stool softeners. It is also be used in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry as an emulsifying, wetting or dispersing agent. It appears as white waxy substance, a white powder or in liquid form when combined with polyethylene glycol. Direct contact may cause skin irritation.

When docusate is used as a laxative it should be taken with plenty of water as it is an anionic surfactant. It can be given orally or rectally and is available in tablet, capsule, suppository and enema forms. It is also found in prenatal and geriatric vitamins to overcome the constipation often induced by iron salts, and as a colon cleansing aid prior to colon procedures.

List of medications using Docusate Sodium

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.