Dulcolax – what is it for, composition and how to take it?

Dulcolax belongs  to a class of drugs called stimulant laxatives. It is used for the relief of occasional constipation . It can also be used to prepare for certain medical tests (eg, colonoscopy), before and after surgery, and in other situations where a bowel movement is necessary.

It works by stimulating the muscles of the intestines and also accumulates water in the intestines. This helps to soften the stool and produce a bowel movement more quickly. Pills should be taken at bedtime to produce a bowel movement the next morning. Suppositories usually take about 15 minutes to 1 hour to work.

What is dulcolax?

Dulcolax is a laxative . This type of medication can help you empty your bowels if you have constipation (difficulty passing stools). it is used in hospitals to help you empty your bowels before surgery or certain tests or treatments.

Dulcolax comes as a tablet and a suppository (a medication you gently push down your back passage). The tablets and suppositories are available by prescription and to buy from pharmacies.

What is dulcolax used for:

Dulcolax ( Bisacodyl ), is a laxative that serves to promote bowel movement by stimulating nerve functions found in the intestinal wall. once ingested, the patient after a few minutes you can feel how the function of the intestine is activated, causing stomach pains contractions that produce the urge to have a bowel movement and subsequent relief from constipation .

In this process, the feces start to have severe movement along the intestines that accelerate the process because the absorption is inhibited and an increase in the hydration of the intestine occurs, which allows to increase the softness and volume of the feces.

How to take dulcolax?

The pills should be taken before bed so that defecation can occur the next morning.

Avoid taking dulcolax with milk or antacids, as these products can dissolve the tablet layer. It is advisable to take them whole without breaking or chewing them.

Dulcolax contraindications:

The use of dulcolax is not recommended when there is a history of illness or a specific health condition, such as:

  • When the person is allergic to bisacodyl or any of the ingredients in dulcolax .
  • When the person is in a state of advanced dehydration.
  • If the patient is experiencing bowel obstruction, appendicitis , chronic inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis ; its use is not recommended if there is severe abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting .
  • Whether the person has a disorder that causes a pathological reaction to lactose or sucrose (eg, galactosemia, fructose intolerance).

Dulcolax side effects:

Dulcolax side effects do not occur in all patients. Only a few people have reported having some of these reactions and in most cases they go away without leaving any complications.

Other side effects that occur sporadically can cause serious problems if not treated in time.

  • Upset or rectal pain
  • blood in the stool
  • Symptoms of intestinal irritation, such as severe abdominal cramping or diarrhea
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a rash or itching
  • Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as hives, swelling of the face, or swelling of the throat

Effect of dulcolax with other medicines:

Interference of one drug with another does not always result in discontinuation of one of them. However, it is advisable to ask the doctor what to do in case of interactions with other medications.

If you do not know exactly which medications may or may not have a reaction when combined with dulcolax , it is recommended not to take any other medication at least two hours before and two hours after taking dulcolax , to avoid inhibiting the effectiveness of these, or producing some interaction.

  • Histamine H2 receptor antagonists such as: ranitidine or cimetidine
  • Antacids such as aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate , magnesium hydroxide
  • Corticosteroids such as: dexamethasone , hydrocortisone, prednisone
  • Digoxin
  • Diuretics such as: furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide
  • Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, such as omeprazole or pantoprazole
  • Leite


Use exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Excessive use of laxatives can cause the intestines to function improperly, or it can make you dependent on laxative use.

  • In some cases, dulcolax is taken by mouth. The enema and suppository forms of this medication are for use in the rectum.
  • Do not crush, chew or break a tablet. Swallow it all down with a full glass of water.
  • Bisacodyl taken by mouth should produce a bowel movement within 6 to 12 hours.

Dulcolax used in the rectum can produce results much faster. You should have a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes of using a rectal suppository, or within 5 to 20 minutes of using a rectal enema.

  • Do not take a suppository or rectal enema by mouth. It is for use in your rectum only.
  • Try to empty your bladder before using dulcolax in your rectum.
  • Wash your hands before and after using.

To use the rectal suppository:

  • Remove the suppository wrapper. Avoid handling the suppository for a long time or it will melt in your hands. If the suppository is soft, you can hold it under cold running water or refrigerate it for a few minutes.
  • Lie on your left side with your right knee towards your chest. Gently insert the suppository into your rectum about 1 inch, pointed end first.
  • Lie down for a few minutes. The suppository will melt quickly and you should feel little or no discomfort when you hold it.
  • Do not use more than one rectal suppository per day.

To use the rectal enema:

  • Shake the rectal enema before using it. Remove the cap from the enema tip.
  • Lie on your left side with your right knee towards your chest, leaning forward slightly. Carefully insert the tip of the enema bottle into the rectum, pointing towards the navel.
  • Gently squeeze the vial until it is empty, then remove it from the rectum.
  • For best results, keep the liquid enema in your rectum for up to 10 minutes. Then empty your rectum while sitting on a toilet.
  • Call your doctor if you don’t have a bowel movement after using this medication, or if you have constipation for more than 7 days.
  • If you are using dulcolax to prepare for a medical exam, follow your doctor’s instructions on when to use the drug.
  • Store dulcolax medication orally or rectally at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
  • Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Helpline, especially if someone has accidentally swallowed a rectal suppository.
  • As dulcolax is used when needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule.
  • If you are preparing for a medical exam and you miss your dose, call your doctor for instructions.

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