Common Brand Name(s): Bisacolax , Dulcolax
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This product is used to treat constipation. However, milder products (e.g., laxatives taken by mouth) should be used whenever possible for constipation. Bisacodyl is a stimulant laxative that works by increasing the amount of fluid/salts in the intestines. This effect usually results in a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes.
The normal frequency of bowel movements varies from once daily to 1 to 2 times weekly. Constipation is best treated by drinking plenty of fluids (four to six 8-ounce glasses daily), eating foods high in fiber, and exercising regularly.
This product is not recommended for use in children younger than 6 years unless directed by a doctor.
How To Use
This product is for rectal use only. Read and follow all directions on the product package or use as directed by your doctor. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. If the suppository is too soft to insert, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or run cold water over it before removing the foil wrapper.
Wash your hands before and after using this product. Remove the foil wrapper. If desired, the suppository may be moistened with lukewarm water. Do not use petroleum jelly or mineral oil. Doing so may cause the product to be less effective. Lie on your left side with the right knee slightly bent. Gently insert the suppository, pointed end first, toward the navel and well up into the rectum. After insertion, stay in position for 15 to 20 minutes if possible until you feel a strong urge to have a bowel movement.
If this product is used too frequently, it may cause loss of normal bowel function and an inability to have a bowel movement without using the product (laxative dependence). If you notice symptoms of overuse such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased weight, or weakness, contact your doctor promptly.
Consult your doctor promptly if you do not have a bowel movement after using this product or if you think you may have a serious medical problem.
Rectal irritation/burning/itching, mild abdominal discomfort/cramps, or nausea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this product, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this product do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
- rectal bleeding/blisters
- persistent diarrhea
Persistent diarrhea may result in a serious loss of body water (dehydration). Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any symptoms of dehydration such as unusual decreased urination, unusual dry mouth/increased thirst, lack of tears, dizziness/lightheadedness, or pale/wrinkled skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- 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 using bisacodyl, 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.
This product should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:
- intestinal blockage (obstruction)
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- other bowel problems (e.g., ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding)
- current stomach/abdominal symptoms (e.g., pain, cramping, persistent nausea/vomiting)
Consult your doctor before using this product if you have had a sudden change in bowel habits lasting more than 2 weeks, or if you need to use a laxative for more than 1 week. These could be symptoms of a serious medical problem.
This product may be used during labor/delivery to clean the bowels before the second stage of labor (pushing phase). At other times during pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially:
- other laxatives (including castor oil, stool softeners, lubricants such as mineral oil)
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. 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.
Laxatives should be used only temporarily if needed for constipation. High doses or frequent use can lead to ongoing constipation and laxative dependence. (See also How to Use section.)
Refer to storage information on the package label. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Protect from heat, direct light, and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all drug products 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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised July 2016.
Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in 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.