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American Family Children's Hospital

docusate (oral/rectal)

Pronunciation: DOK ue sate

Brand: 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

Docusate Sodium 100 mg-UDL

red, oval, imprinted with P51

Image of Docusate Sodium 100 mg-UDL
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Docusate 250 mg-PAD

oblong, red, imprinted with PZO

Image of Docusate 250 mg-PAD
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DC-240 mg

oblong, red, imprinted with P58

Image of DC-240 mg
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Docusate 100 mg-WAT

red, oval, imprinted with 7112

Image of Docusate 100 mg-WAT
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Stool Softener 100 mg-ALT

oval, red/white, imprinted with L486

Image of Stool Softener 100 mg-ALT
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What is the most important information I should know about docusate?

Multum donot

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 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 purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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

Multum donot

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.
Multum nopreg

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.

Multum nobrfeed

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.

Multum nochild

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 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.

Multum water

Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking docusate.

Multum nocrush

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.

Multum external

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

Multum icon27

Wash your hands before and after using docusate enema.

Multum icon28

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.

Multum calldoc

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.

Multum rt

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?

Multum emt

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?

Multum donot

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

What are the possible side effects of docusate?

Multum emt

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.

Multum calldoc

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:

  • dizziness, weakness;
  • gas, bloating, mild diarrhea;
  • rectal irritation; or
  • sweating.

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.

What other drugs will affect docusate?

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.

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.

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.

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