Docusate sodium is a stool softener laxative used to relieve occasional constipation. It is typically the first method employed, as it is effective and has mild side effects.

Another advantage of docusate sodium is that it tends to be fast-acting and can produce a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours for oral dosage.

DocuSol and DocuSol Plus mini-enemas are applied directly into the rectum. As such, they take effect much more quickly, typically in 2-15 minutes.

How Does Docusate Sodium Work?

Docusate sodium works by increasing the amount of water stool absorbs from the gastrointestinal tract. This softens stool, making it easier to pass. When experiencing constipation, the stool can become hard and dry, and the additional moisture docusate absorbs into stool keeps it moist and moving smoothly through the bowel.

In addition, it’s not healthy to strain when passing stool. Straining can lead to other complications such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Keeping stool soft through the use of docusate not only helps relieve constipation but also helps to prevent these uncomfortable and painful conditions.

What are the Potential Side Effects of Docusate?

One of the appealing aspects of docusate sodium is it has relatively mild and infrequent side effects when compared to other laxatives. Many people experience no side effects at all when taking docusate.

The most common side effect people experience is mild to moderate stomach cramping, and occasionally diarrhea.

Allergic reactions to docusate are rare, but it’s important to be informed of the symptoms, which include rash, itching, swelling of the throat, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience any of these symptoms.

What are the Different Forms of Docusate Sodium?

How to use docusate sodium depends on whether it’s administered orally or rectally.

When consumed orally as a capsule or tablet, docusate is typically taken at bedtime with a full glass of water (at least 8 oz).

Docusate sodium also comes in liquid form for oral consumption. If administered in this manner be sure to use the accompanying measuring device (and not a household spoon or other implement) to be sure you receive the correct dosage. You can mix the liquid with juice or other beverage to alleviate the somewhat bitter taste.

When administered in a DocuSol® mini-enema, gently insert the tube into the rectum and with steady pressure squeeze to empty the tube contents. For more information on the use of a DocuSol® mini-enema, please refer to ‘how to use’ information on our website.

NOTE: Always consult with your physician before taking any medications for constipation to determine the correct dosage for you. 

Docusate Sodium Dosage and Potential Interactions

The dosage taken is determined by your medical history, response to the medication, and always in accordance with the directions on the product package.

To avoid potential interactions, be sure to inform your physician about all medications you are taking. Two products that may interact with docusate sodium are mineral oil and medications containing phenolphthalein.

The DocuSol® and DocuSol® Plus Advantage

DocuSol® mini-enema delivers 283mg of docusate sodium and functions as a stool softener hyperosmotic laxative by drawing water into the bowel from surrounding body tissues, softening the stool and promoting a bowel movement.

For people with painful bowel movements, DocuSol® Plus also contains 20mg of benzocaine, assisting in the anesthetization of the rectum and lower bowel. The formulation was developed for patients who experience hemorrhoids, fissures, or painful bowel movements.

You can purchase DocuSol® and DocuSol® Plus from Rite Aid, H.E.B, and Amazon! Learn more about where to buy online here.

 

Disclaimer:

The material contained is for reference purposes only. Alliance Labs, LLC and Summit Pharmaceuticals do not assume responsibility for patient care. Consult a physician prior to use. Copyright 2020 Summit Pharmaceuticals and Alliance Labs, LLC.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.drugs.com/tips/docusate-patient-tips
  2. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_docusate_colace/drugs-condition.htm
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