GENERIC NAME: docusate
BRAND NAME: Aqualax, Colace, Colace Micro-Enema, Conate, Correctol Extra Gentle, Diocto, DocQLace, Docu Soft, Docu, Docuprene, Docusil, DocuSol Kids, DocuSol Mini, DOK, Dulcolax Stool Softener, D.O.S., DC Softgels, Dialose, Enemeez Mini, Genasoft, GoodSense Stool Softener, Fam-Colsof, Healthy Mama Move It Along, Kao-Tin, KS Stool Softener, Laxa Basic, Modane Soft, Phillips Liquid-Gels, Pedia-Lax, Promolaxin, Regulax SS, Silace, Sof-Lax, Stool Softener Laxative DC, Stool Softener, Sulfolax, Surfak, Sur-Q-Lax, Therevac SB, Top Care Stool Softener, Uni-Ease, Vacuant Mini-Enema, Vacuant Plus
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Docusate is a commonly used non-prescription (OTC or over-the-counter) stool softener used to treat or prevent constipation. Docusate is an anionic surfactant that helps lower the surface tension at the oil-water interface of the stool, and thus allows water and lipids or fats to enter the stool. Consequently, fecal matter is softened which helps natural defecation or bowel movement. Relief of constipation may occur with 1 to 3 days of therapy. Docusate is available in various salt forms including docusate sodium, docusate potassium, and docusate calcium. The salt forms of docusate are considered to be interchangeable. Docusate was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1957.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Docusate is used as a stool softener to treat and prevent constipation.
SIDE EFFECTS: Docusate salts rarely cause side effects since they are not absorbed into the body. Occasional side effects may include
Throat irritation has occurred in some patients after taking liquid formulations of docusate orally.
Excessive use of docusate may cause low electrolyte levels and may also result in dependence. Docusate should not be used in people with
- intestinal obstruction,
- acute stomach pain,
- bowel impaction, and
- those who have nausea and vomiting.
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Constipation Myths and Facts
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