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 (such as 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.
How to use Docusate Sodium
Follow all directions on the product package unless otherwise directed by your doctor. If you have any questions, ask 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.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that your doctor 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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including: rectal bleeding.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
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. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.