In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for bisacodyl, trade name DulcolaxTM.

What it’s for & How to take

Bisacodyl is a stimulant laxative used to treat constipation. This medication may also be used to help cleanse the bowels before a gastrointestinal procedure. Bisacodyl increases the motility motion of the bowels which helps move stool through your intestines.

Bisacodyl is an over the counter medication. Read and follow all the directions on the medication package unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Do not crush or break the tablet and do not take it within 1 hour of any antacids or milk products. Doing so may break down the special coating on the tablet and will increase the risk of having an upset stomach or feeling nauseous.

When taken as directed, this medication will usually produce results within 6-12 hours. If no bowel movement is produced, or your condition worsens, contact your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the issue. This medication is not to be used for more than 7 days without direction from your doctor.

Do not take a larger dose than is directed on the packaging unless directed to do so by your doctor. If you notice that your condition is not improving or is worsening, please contact your pharmacist or doctor to discuss the situation.

If your doctor has prescribed you to take this medication on a daily basis and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Warnings & Cautions

  • If you have recently experienced acute abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, contact your health care provider before using this medication.
  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.
  • This medication is approved for use in children; however, consult your pharmacist or doctor before giving a dose of this medication to your child.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if bisacodyl is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have persistent nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain, other intestinal issues, or any sudden changes in bowel habits over the past 2 weeks. This medication is not to be used if a bowel obstruction is present.
  • While taking bisacodyl, you may feel some excess gas, nausea, cramping or diarrhea. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any persistent diarrhea or blood in your stool.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20