This medication is used to treat occasional constipation. Some medications and conditions can make constipation more likely. Stool softeners such as docusate are often the first method used for preventing and treating this type of constipation. Docusate is often used when straining to have a bowel movement should be avoided (e.g., after a heart attack or surgery).
Docusate is a stool softener. It works by increasing the amount of water the stool absorbs in the gut, making the stool softer and easier to pass.
Follow all directions on the product package unless otherwise directed by your doctor. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, usually at bedtime with a full glass (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) of water or juice, or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Decrease your dose or stop taking this medication if you develop diarrhea.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you are using the drops, measure the medication with the dropper provided, or use a dose-measuring spoon or device to make sure you have the correct dose. Mix the syrup, liquid or drops in 4 to 8 ounces of fruit juice, milk or infant formula to prevent throat irritation and mask a bitter taste.
Use this medication only when needed. Do not use this product for more than 1 week unless directed by your doctor.
Relief is usually seen in 1 to 3 days.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Stomach pain, diarrhea, or cramping may occur. Irritated throat (with liquid or syrup forms) may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if this unlikely but serious side effect occurs: rectal bleeding.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication: severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, sudden change in bowel habits over the previous 2 weeks.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: mineral oil, drugs containing phenolphthalein.
Do not share this medication with others.
Constipation can usually be prevented by eating a diet high in fiber, drinking enough fluids and getting regular exercise. Use this medication for temporary relief of constipation only. Do not use this medication for a long period of time to prevent becoming dependent on laxatives.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature at 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) in a tightly closed container away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised August 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet