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docusate

docusate

Pronunciation Generic Name: docusate (DOK ue sate)

Brand Name: Calcium Stool Softener, Colace, Correctol Softgel Extra Gentle, D-S Caps, Diocto, Doc-Q-Lace, Docu, Docu Soft, Doculase, Docusoft S, DocuSol, DOK, DOS, DSS, Dulcolax Stool Softener, Enemeez Mini, Fleet Sof-Lax, Kao-Tin, Kaopectate Stool Softener, Kasof, Phillips Stool Softener, Silace, Sur-Q-Lax, …show all 50 brand names

OverviewSide EffectsDosageInteractionsFor ProfessionalsMore…

What is docusate?

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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about docusate?

You should not use docusate if you are allergic to it, or if you have a blockage in your intestines. Do not use docusate while you are sick with nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.

Do not take mineral oil while using docusate, unless your doctor tells you to.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using docusate if you are on a low-salt diet, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have recently had a sudden change in your bowel habits lasting for longer than 2 weeks.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using docusate?

You should not use docusate if you are allergic to it, or if you have a blockage in your intestines. Do not use docusate while you are sick with nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.

Do not take mineral oil while using docusate, unless your doctor tells you to.

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.

It is not known whether docusate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether docusate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I use docusate?

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 docusate tablets or capsules with a full glass of water. Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking docusate.

Do not crush, chew, or break a docusate capsule. Swallow it whole.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. 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.

Do not take docusate rectal enema by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.

Wash your hands before and after using docusate rectal enema.

Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the enema.

Twist off the 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.

After using docusate, you should have a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours. Call your doctor if you have not had a bowel movement within 1 to 3 days.

Do not use docusate for longer than 7 days unless your doctor has told you to. 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 as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, 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 docusate?

Avoid using laxatives or other stool softeners unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid using the bathroom just after using docusate enema.

Docusate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using docusate and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • rectal bleeding or irritation;

  • numbness or a rash around your rectum;
  • severe diarrhea or stomach cramps; or
  • continued constipation.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild diarrhea; or

  • mild nausea.

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: docusate side effects (in more detail)

Docusate Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Constipation:

Oral: 50 to 400 mg (using any of the salt forms) orally administered in 1 to 4 equally divided doses each day.

Rectal: 200 to 283 mg rectally administered as an enema once or twice.

Alternative: 50 to 100 mg (docusate sodium liquid) added to a retention or flushing enema once a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Constipation:

Oral:

less than 3 years: 10 to 40 mg (docusate sodium) orally divided in 1 to 4 doses.

3 to 6 years: 20 to 60 mg (docusate sodium) orally divided in 1 to 4 doses.

6 to 12 years: 40 to 150 mg (docusate sodium) orally divided in 1 to 4 doses.

greater than 12 years: 50 to 400 mg (using any of the salt forms) orally administered in 1 to 4 equally divided doses each day.

Rectal:

3 to 18 years: 50 to 100 mg (docusate sodium liquid) added to a retention or flushing enema once a day.

Alternative: 200 to 283 mg rectally administered as an enema once daily as needed for constipation.

What other drugs will affect docusate?

There may be other drugs that can interact with docusate. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Next Page → Side Effects

More docusate resources

  • Side Effects
  • Recommended Dosage
  • Pregnancy Warnings
  • Drug Images
  • Drug Interactions
  • Support Group
  • 6 Reviews - Add your own review/rating
  • docusate MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Docusate Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Diocto liquid MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Docusate Salts Monograph (AHFS DI)
  • Dostinex Monograph (AHFS DI)
  • Enemeez Mini enema MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)

Compare docusate with other medications

  • Constipation

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about docusate.

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Docusate

Docusate

Pronunciation Pronunciation: DOCK-you-sate

Class: Fecal softener, Sulfactant Docusate Sodium (Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate; DSS)

For ProfessionalsSide EffectsInteractionsMore…

Trade Names

Colace

– Capsules 50 mg

– Capsules 100 mg

– Syrup 60 mg/15 mL

Correctol Extra Gentle

– Capsules 100 mg

Diocto

– Liquid 50 mg/5 mL

– Syrup 60 mg/15 mL

DocQlace

– Capsules 100 mg

– Liquid 150 mg/15 mL

Docu

– Liquid 150 mg/15 mL

Docu Soft

– Capsules 100 mg

Docuprene

– Tablets 100 mg

Docusil

– Capsules 100 mg

Docusoft-S

– Capsules 100 mg

DocuSol Mini-Enema

– Enema 283 mg

DOK

– Tablets 100 mg

– Capsules 100 mg

– Capsules 250 mg

D.O.S.

– Capsules, soft-gel 250 mg

Dulcolax Stool Softener

– Capsules 100 mg

Pedia-Lax

– Liquid 50 mg/15 mL

Phillips’

– Capsules, soft-gel 100 mg

– Capsules 100 mg

Silace

– Liquid 150 mg/15 mL

– Syrup 60 mg/15 mL

Soft-Lax

– Capsules 100 mg

Apo-Docusate Sodium (Canada)

Selax (Canada)

Soflax (Canada)

ratio-Docusate Sodium (Canada)

Docusate Calcium (Dioctyl Calcium Sulfosuccinate)

Kaopectate Stool Softener

– Capsules 240 mg

Sur-Q-Lax

– Capsules 240 mg

Surfak

– Capsules 240 mg

ratio-Docusate Calcium (Canada)

Pharmacology

Facilitates stool softening by detergent activity.

Pharmacokinetics

Onset

12 to 72 h (oral); 2 to 15 min (enema).

Indications and Usage

Short-term treatment of constipation; prophylaxis in patients who should not strain during defecation (eg, after anorectal surgery, MI); to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations; prevention of dry, hard stools.

Contraindications

Nausea, vomiting or other symptoms of appendicitis; acute surgical abdomen; fecal impaction; intestinal obstruction; undiagnosed abdominal pain; coadministration with mineral oil; use longer than 1 wk unless directed by health care provider (enema).

Dosage and Administration

Docusate Sodium

Adults and Children older than 12 y PO 50 to 500 mg daily. Rectal 1 to 3 units daily.

Children 6 to 12 y of age PO 40 to 120 mg daily. Rectal 1 unit daily.

Children 3 to 6 y of age PO 20 to 100 mg daily.

Children younger than 3 y PO 10 to 40 mg daily.

Docusate Calcium

Adults PO 240 mg.

Children 6 y and Older and Adults With Minimal Needs PO 50 to 150 mg.

General Advice

  • Administer each dose with full glass of water.
  • Dose may be taken as a single daily dose or in divided doses.
  • Do not open or otherwise alter capsules.
  • Enema is for rectal use only.
  • Lubricate enema tip prior to insertion.

Storage/Stability

Store between 59° and 86°F. Protect liquid preparations from light. Discard enema unit after use.

Drug Interactions

Mineral oil Docusate may increase absorption of mineral oil from GI tract, leading to toxicity.

Adverse Reactions

Cardiovascular

Palpitations.

CNS

Dizziness, fainting.

GI

Abdominal cramping, bloating, excessive bowel activity (eg, griping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting), flatulence, perianal irritation.

Miscellaneous

Sweating, weakness.

Precautions

Monitor

Evaluate and document patient’s response to stool softener, noting any adverse reactions, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, or diarrhea.

Pregnancy

Category C .

Lactation

Undetermined.

Children

Rectal Consult a health care provider before use in children younger than 6 y.

Abuse/dependence

Long-term use may lead to laxative dependence, fluid and electrolyte imbalances, steatorrhea, osteomalacia, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Concomitant laxative use

Do not use other laxatives, especially during the initial phase of therapy for portal-systemic encephalopathy; the resulting loose stools may falsely suggest adequate lactulose dosage.

Fluid and electrolyte imbalance

Excessive laxative use may lead to significant fluid and electrolyte imbalance.

Rectal bleeding or failure to respond

May indicate a serious condition that may require further medical attention.

Patient Information

  • Tell patient to drink a full glass of water with each dose.
  • Instruct patient to swallow tablets whole and not to chew them.
  • Instruct patient not to use mineral oil while taking this drug.
  • Teach patient other methods of stimulating regular bowel evacuation: attempt to evacuate bowels at same time each day; drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water; eat a high-fiber diet; exercise daily; respond to urge for bowel movement as soon as possible.
  • Explain that liquid forms, excluding syrup, may be mixed with fruit juice or milk to mask unpleasant taste.
  • Advise patient to lubricate enema tip prior to insertion with a few drops of water or of the product.
  • Advise patients to consult their health care provider if, after using the enema, they fail to have a bowel movement or have rectal bleeding.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

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Docusate

Docusate

Pronunciation Generic Name: docusate (DOK-yoo-sate)

Brand Name: Examples include Colace and Surfak

OverviewSide EffectsDosageInteractionsFor ProfessionalsMore…

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 docusate 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:

Bitter taste; bloating; cramping; diarrhea; gas; irritation around the rectum; throat irritation.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

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.

General information:

  • 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.

Issue Date: March 6, 2013 Database Edition 13.1.1.003 Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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