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Stool-softener Laxatives, Oral

(En español, presione aquí)

 What are other names for this medicine?
 What is this medicine used for?
 What should my healthcare provider know before I take this medicine?
 How do I use it?
 What if I overdose?
 What should I watch out for?
 What are the possible side effects?
 What products might interact with this medicine?
 How should I store this medicine?


Pronunciation: stool sof-en-er laks-a-tivz

What are other names for this medicine?

Type of medicine: laxative

Generic and brand names: Colace; Diocto; DOK; docusate calcium; docusate potassium; docusate sodium; D-S-S; Dulcolax Stool Softener; Docusoft-S; Fleet Sof-Lax; Phillips' Stool Softener Laxative; Surfak Liquigels (There may be other brand names for this medicine.)

What is this medicine used for?

Laxatives are taken by mouth to:

Different kinds of laxatives work in different ways. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist which product is best for you. Make sure you know which kind you are taking.

What should my healthcare provider know before I take this medicine?

Before taking this medicine, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had:

If you are on a sodium or magnesium-restricted diet, do not take laxatives that contain sodium or magnesium unless your healthcare provider approves.

If you have noticed a sudden change in your bowel habits that lasts longer than 2 weeks, talk with your healthcare provider before taking this medicine.

Females of childbearing age: Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Take only those laxatives that are recommended by your healthcare provider. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine without your healthcare provider's approval.

How do I use it?

Check the label on the medicine for directions about your specific dose. Take laxatives as directed by your healthcare provider, or follow the directions on the package label. Do not take more laxative or take it more often than directed. Drink several glasses of water during the day to help soften your bowel movement.

Laxatives may come as capsules, tablets, wafers, powdered or granulated products, or in liquid form. Swallow tablets and capsules whole. Chew wafers thoroughly. Mix powdered or granulated products with water or fruit juice. Do not take them dry. Liquids may be taken in or with water or fruit juice. If you are using the liquid, measure the correct dose with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup. You may need to shake the liquid medicine before taking it. Follow the directions on the label.

For this medicine to work properly and to prevent side effects, you must drink at least 8 oz of water or fruit juice when you take a laxative.

What if I overdose?

If you or anyone else has intentionally taken too much of this medicine, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. If you pass out, have seizures, weakness or confusion, or have trouble breathing, call 911. If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, call the poison control center. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. The poison control center number is 800-222-1222.

Symptoms of an acute overdose may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain.

What should I watch out for?

For young children, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist which laxatives to use.

Do not use for more than 1 week without your healthcare provider's approval. Long-term use can make your body depend on the laxative for regular bowel movements. If you are always constipated, talk to your healthcare provider. You may need to change your diet or prescription medicine.

If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.

What are the possible side effects?

Along with its needed effects, your medicine may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Serious (report these to your healthcare provider right away): Dizziness, flushing, sweating, severe abdominal cramps, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, chest pain; unusual tiredness or weakness, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, confusion, irregular heartbeat, muscle aches, rectal bleeding, trouble urinating.

Other: diarrhea, gas, rectal irritation, brown or reddish urine, constipation (if too little water is taken with the laxative).

What products might interact with this medicine?

When you take this medicine with other medicines, it can change the way this or any of the other medicines work. Nonprescription medicines, vitamins, natural remedies, and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:

Laxatives may interfere with the absorption of other medicines. It is best to take other medicines 2 hours before or after you take this laxative.

If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.

How should I store this medicine?

Store this medicine at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed. Protect it from heat, high humidity, and bright light.

____________________________________________________

This advisory includes selected information only and may not include all side effects of this medicine or interactions with other medicines. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.

Ask your pharmacist for the best way to dispose of outdated medicine or medicine you have not used. Do not throw medicine in the trash.

Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.

Do not share medicines with other people.

healthinformatics info

Reference Sources:

COLACE (docusate sodium) capsule. [Cardinal Health] Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Daily Med. Accessed October 23, 2012 from

http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=99bf708a-d746-4229-8b7d-0739a339cc21

COLACE (docusate sodium) capsule. Lexi-Comp ONLINE, 2012 Lexi-Comp, Inc. Accessed October 23, from http://online.lexi.com


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Last Modified: 2012-11-13

Last Reviewed: 2012-10-30

Website Updated: March 2014

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This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.


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