bisacodyl (OTC)

Brand and Other Names:Dulcolax, Correctol, more...BisacEvac, Bisacolax, Codulax, Alophen, Feen A Mint, Fleet Stimulant Laxative, Laxit, Modane, Dulcolax for Women
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Dosing & Uses

AdultPediatric

Dosage Forms & Strengths

tablet, delayed release

  • 5mg

Constipation

5-15 mg PO once daily; if complete evacuation required, 30 mg PO once daily

Dosage Forms & Strengths

tablet

  • 5mg

Constipation

<6 years: PO administration not recommended, because of requirement to swallow tablets

6-12 years: 5 mg or 0.3 mg/kg PO at bedtime or before breakfast  

>12 years: 5-15 mg PO at bedtime

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Interactions

Interaction Checker

and bisacodyl

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            Contraindicated (0)

              Serious - Use Alternative (3)

              • sodium sulfate/?magnesium sulfate/potassium chloride

                sodium sulfate/?magnesium sulfate/potassium chloride increases toxicity of bisacodyl by Other (see comment). Avoid or Use Alternate Drug. Comment: Coadministration of stimulant laxatives and sodium sulfate/magnesium sulfate/potassium chloride may increase the risk of mucosal ulceration or ischemic colitis.

              • sodium sulfate/potassium sulfate/magnesium sulfate

                sodium sulfate/potassium sulfate/magnesium sulfate increases toxicity of bisacodyl by Other (see comment). Avoid or Use Alternate Drug. Comment: Coadministration of stimulant laxatives and sodium sulfate/magnesium sulfate/potassium chloride may increase the risk of mucosal ulceration or ischemic colitis.

              • sodium sulfate/potassium sulfate/magnesium sulfate/polyethylene glycol

                bisacodyl, sodium sulfate/potassium sulfate/magnesium sulfate/polyethylene glycol. Either increases toxicity of the other by Other (see comment). Avoid or Use Alternate Drug. Comment: Stimulant laxatives may increase the risk of mucosal ulceration or ischemic colitis when coadministered with bowel preps.

              Monitor Closely (3)

              • deflazacort

                bisacodyl and deflazacort both decrease serum potassium. Use Caution/Monitor.

              • dichlorphenamide

                dichlorphenamide and bisacodyl both decrease serum potassium. Use Caution/Monitor.

              • potassium citrate

                bisacodyl decreases levels of potassium citrate by inhibition of GI absorption. Applies only to oral form of both agents. Use Caution/Monitor.

              Minor (2)

              • potassium acid phosphate

                bisacodyl decreases levels of potassium acid phosphate by inhibition of GI absorption. Applies only to oral form of both agents. Minor/Significance Unknown.

              • potassium chloride

                bisacodyl decreases levels of potassium chloride by inhibition of GI absorption. Applies only to oral form of both agents. Minor/Significance Unknown.

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              Adverse Effects

              Frequency Not Defined

              Abdominal cramping

              Electrolyte and fluid imbalance

              Excessive diarrhea

              Nausea

              Rectal burning

              Vertigo

              Vomiting

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              Warnings

              Contraindications

              Hypersensitivity

              Obstruction or severe impaction

              Symptoms of appendicitis or acute surgical abdomen

              Vomiting

              Rectal bleeding

              Cautions

              Avoid chronic use; may cause laxative dependence

              Avoid using in patients with gastroenteritis

              Do not chew tablet; swallow whole

              Not for use within 1 hour of taking antacid or milk

              Not recommended for children < 6 years because of requirement to swallow tablets

              Not to be used for >1 week

              Some dosage forms may contain benzyl alcohol, which has been associated with fatal toxicity in neonates; avoid dosage forms containing benzyl alcohol derivatives in neonates

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              Pregnancy & Lactation

              Pregnancy

              Plasma concentrations of the active metabolite BHPM are low following doses of 10 mg/day for 7 days; short term use is generally considered safe in pregnancy; avoid long term use

              Lactation

              Not detected in excreted milk following administration of 10 mg/day for 7 days; use with caution

              Pregnancy Categories

              A: Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.

              B: May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.

              C: Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.

              D: Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.

              X: Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.

              NA: Information not available.

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              Pharmacology

              Mechanism of Action

              Irritates smooth muscle of intestine and possibly colonic intramural plexus, thus in turn increasing peristalsis

              Increases intestinal fluid accumulation and laxation by altering water and electrolyte secretion

              Absorption

              Onset: 6-10 hr

              Distribution

              Vd: 289 L

              Elimination

              Half-life: 8 hr

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              Images

              BRAND FORM. UNIT PRICE PILL IMAGE
              Women's Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Dulcolax (bisacodyl) rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              Dulcolax (bisacodyl) rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              Dulcolax (bisacodyl) rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              bisacodyl oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              bisacodyl oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              bisacodyl oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              bisacodyl oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              bisacodyl oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              bisacodyl oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              bisacodyl oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Correctol oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              Gentle Laxative (bisacodyl) rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              bisacodyl rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              bisacodyl rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              bisacodyl rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              bisacodyl rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              bisacodyl rectal
              -
              10 mg suppos
              Fleet Bisacodyl rectal
              -
              10 mg/30 mL enema
              Alophen (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Dulcolax (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Dulcolax (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet
              Dulcolax (bisacodyl) oral
              -
              5 mg tablet

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              Patient Handout

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              Patient Education
              bisacodyl oral

              BISACODYL - ORAL

              (bis-AK-oh-dil)

              COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Dulcolax

              USES: Bisacodyl is used to treat constipation. It may also be used to clean out the intestines before a bowel examination/surgery. Bisacodyl is known as a stimulant laxative. It works by increasing the movement of the intestines, helping the stool to come out.

              HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. If you are self-treating, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet or take it within 1 hour of antacids, milk, or milk products. Doing so can destroy the coating on the tablet and may increase the risk of stomach upset and nausea.Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Do not take this medication for more than 7 days unless directed by your doctor. Serious side effects may occur with overuse of this medication (see also Side Effects section).It may take 6 to 12 hours before this medication causes a bowel movement. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse, or if bleeding from the rectum occurs. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.

              SIDE EFFECTS: Stomach/abdominal pain or cramping, nausea, diarrhea, or weakness may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.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: nausea/vomiting/diarrhea that doesn't go away, muscle cramps/weakness, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, decreased urination, mental/mood changes (such as confusion).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.

              PRECAUTIONS: Before taking 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.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: appendicitis or symptoms of appendicitis (such as nausea/vomiting, sudden or unexplained stomach/abdominal pain), a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for longer than 2 weeks, bleeding from the rectum, intestinal blockage.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. Using it for long periods during pregnancy is not recommended. Consult your doctor for more details.It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

              DRUG INTERACTIONS: See also How To Use section.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 are: medications that decrease stomach acid (such as H2 blockers like ranitidine, proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole).

              OVERDOSE: 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. Symptoms of overdose may include: nausea/vomiting/diarrhea that doesn't go away, severe stomach/abdominal pain or cramping.

              NOTES: Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.Lifestyle changes that may prevent or relieve constipation include exercising, drinking enough water, and eating a proper diet with fiber-rich foods such as bran, fresh fruits/vegetables. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.

              MISSED DOSE: If your doctor has directed you to take this medication on a regular schedule and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

              STORAGE: Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. 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.

              Information last revised December 2021. Copyright(c) 2021 First Databank, Inc.

              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.

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              Medscape prescription drug monographs are based on FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.