Colace side effects and drug information

Colace (docusate) is a type of medicine that is used for the treatment or prevention of occasional constipation, and it also works to relieve the pain or damage in the rectum as a result of straining during bowel movements or due to hard stools. 

ClassificationSulfonic acid
Density1.1 g/cm³
Molar mass444.5583 g/mol
IUPAC ID4-dioxobutane-2-sulfonate, Sodium 1
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This medication is a stool softener and functions by making the bowel movements easier.  

Important Information

Before using this product, there is some information that you need to know to be sure that it is safe for you to use. Always consult with your doctor first before starting with any treatment.

Colace is not safe for those who have a blockage in their intestines, and it is not recommended to be used as well if you are using mineral oil unless directed by your doctor. Also, avoid using this drug while you are sick with either of the following: severe stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.

Side Effects

Most people who have used this product did not encounter any side effects, and though uncommon, some may potentially experience side effects that can range from mild to highly severe.  

Watch out for any symptoms of allergic reactions that include: swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips; unusual hoarseness, having a peeling or blistering skin that either comes with or without fever; rash, hives, itching, redness, or swollen skin, tightness in the chest or throat; difficulty in talking, breathing, or swallowing and experiance dizzyness.

Other side effects that may potentially occur are:

For the incidence of hypomagnesemia, it was about a woman who had treatment with docusate throughout her pregnancy. After the medicine was discontinued, though, her magnesium levels went back to normal.

There was also a report of having throat irritation and bitter taste when liquid and syrup forms were taken.

Indication and Dosage

Colace (docusate) is a type of stool softener that is usually the 1st preventive measure that is utilized for occasional constipation. It is also often the first method of treatment for this kind of illness.  

This medication functions by allowing the stool to absorb more water in the gut that leads to the seat being softer and makes it easy to pass. It is not advised to be used, though, when straining to have bowel movements such as after a surgical procedure or after a heart attack.

Drug Interaction

Colace (docusate) may tend to cause interactions with the following:

  • Mineral oil
  • Phenolphthalein
  • Linaclotide
  • Lactulose

It may potentially cause interactions with certain types of diseases as well, such as:

  • Intestinal obstruction disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Warnings and Precautions

Before the onset of treatment, it is best to discuss with your doctor about the safety of its usage. Let your health care provider know if you are allergic to the drug itself or any of its other components.  

This drug may also have other inactive elements that may lead to allergic reactions or other more severe side effects. Know about all the drug’s other components as well, including the inactive ingredients, to be sure that you do not have allergies to any of it and prevent having serious reactions.

Aside from allergies, inform your doctor as well if you have health issues that you have recently experienced, such as a sudden change in bowel habits in the past two weeks, nausea, vomiting, or severe abdominal pain.  

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant as this should be used only when highly necessary; also, if you are breastfeeding, though it is not known if this drug passes into the breastmilk. These are necessary so as not to cause harm to the nursing baby or the unborn child.

Overdose and Contraindications

In case you experience an overdose or have an experience of severe symptoms while using this product, such as difficulty in breathing or fainting, call 911 immediately or the poison control center.

It is advised that this medication should not be shared with other people, and Colace (docusate) should only be used to offer temporary relief for constipation. This should not be used for an extended period to avoid dependence on laxatives.

There are different ways to prevent constipation. Some of these are: having a diet that is rich in fiber, drinking a lot of liquids, and doing regular exercise.

Medication Guide

Before using this drug, read the product label carefully and use exactly as stated; or make sure that you follow exactly what your health care provider has instructed you to do. Never use this medicine in either a smaller or larger amount than what is recommended. Also, do not use it for an extended time.

When taking this medication, have a full glass of water and be sure to have plenty of fluids.

Once the treatment with this drug has started, there should be bowel movement to occur within 12 to 72 hours. If there seems to be no improvement with your condition after 72 hours, consult your health care provider.

Colace (docusate) is not intended to be used for more than seven days unless advised by your health care provider. If, during the course of treatment, no bowel movement has occurred within the period of 1 to 3 days. Or, if there is no sign of improvement in the condition that is being treated, call your doctor right away to discuss whether to change the dosage in the medication or use an alternative treatment or medicine instead.

Be careful of overusing a stool softener as it can result in severe medical problems and cause further complications or more severe side effects or health issues.  

Store this product properly by keeping it at room temperature, and be sure that it is protected from heat and moisture. It is essential to know not to freeze any liquid medicine as it may alter the efficacy of the drug.