Dulcolax Stool Softener (oral/rectal)
Generic Name: docusate (oral/rectal) (DOK ue sate)
Brand Name: Colace, Diocto, Dioeze, Doc-Q-Lace, Docu, Docu Soft, Doculase, Docuprene, Docusil, Docusoft S, DocuSol, DOK, DSS, Dulcolax Stool Softener, Enemeez Mini, Kao-Tin, Octycine-250, Pedia-Lax Stool Softener, Phillips Stool Softener, Promolaxin, Silace, Surfak Stool Softener, Sur-Q-Lax, Vacuant
What is Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate oral/rectal)?
Docusate is a stool softener. It makes bowel movements softer and easier to pass.
Docusate is used to treat or prevent constipation, and to reduce pain or rectal damage caused by hard stools or by straining during bowel movements.
Docusate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate oral/rectal)?
You should not use docusate if you have a blockage in your intestines. Do not use docusate while you are sick with nausea, vomiting, or severe stomach pain. You should not take mineral oil while using docusate.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate oral/rectal)?
You should not use docusate if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
nausea, vomiting, or severe stomach pain;
a blockage in your intestines; or
chronic stomach pain that has not been checked by a doctor.
You should not take mineral oil while using docusate.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take docusate:
if you are on a low-salt diet; or
if you have recently had a sudden change in your bowel habits lasting for longer than 2 weeks.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether docusate will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether docusate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.
How should I use Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate oral/rectal)?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking docusate.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open a docusate capsule or tablet. Swallow it whole.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Mix the liquid with 6 to 8 ounces of milk, fruit juice, or infant formula and drink the mixture right away.
After taking docusate by mouth (tablets, capsules, liquid), you should have a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours.
Do not take docusate rectal enema by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.
Wash your hands before and after using docusate enema.
Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the enema. Remove the cap from the enema applicator tip. Lie down on your left side with your knees bent, and gently insert the tip of the enema applicator into the rectum. Squeeze the tube to empty the entire contents into the rectum. Throw away the tube, even if there is still some medicine left in it. For best results, hold in the enema for as long as possible, or until you have a bowel movement.
The rectal enema should produce a bowel movement within 2 to 15 minutes.
Do not use docusate for longer than 7 days unless your doctor has told you to. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if you have not had a bowel movement within 1 to 3 days. Overuse of a stool softener can lead to serious medical problems.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since docusate is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting or stomach pain.
What should I avoid while using Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate oral/rectal)?
Avoid using laxatives or other stool softeners unless your doctor has told you to.
Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate oral/rectal) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using docusate and call your doctor at once if you have:
pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
rectal bleeding or irritation;
numbness or a rash around your rectum;
vomiting, severe diarrhea or stomach cramps; or
continued constipation, or no bowel movement.
Common side effects may include:
gas, bloating, mild diarrhea;
rectal irritation; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate oral/rectal)?
Other drugs may interact with docusate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Dulcolax Stool Softener (docusate)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about docusate.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.03.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: February 12, 2014