docusate (Correctol, Colace, Dulcolax, Phillips Liquid-Gels, and many others)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Constipation Myths & Facts

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

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/30/2015

Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Constipation Myths and Facts

Digestive Disorders: Constipation Myths and Facts
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