Bisacodyl side effects and drug information

Dulcolax, also known as Bisacodyl, is a kind of laxative medicine that helps facilitate the bower movement. It is widely used to help treat constipation or prior to surgery, x-ray, intestinal procedure, or colonoscopy where the bowels have to be emptied before surgery or treatment. The medicine may also be used for other purposes not indicated herein. 

ChemSpider ID 2299
Trade names Brooklax, Dulcolax, Fleet, Purga etc
ChemSpider ID 2299
Bioavailability 15%
Molar mass 361.391 g/mol
CAS ID 603-50-9
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Do not use Dulcolax if you have allergies to any of its components, or where you have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains

Always ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can use the medication, especially if you have the following health conditions:

A senior citizen with rectal Bisacodyl should refrain from using this thorazine drug without prior advice from their healthcare provider. It is not sure whether Dulcolax can harm an unborn child. Do not use this medication without your doctor’s advice if you are in the family way or expecting a baby. It is uncertain whether Dulcolax can pass on breast milk or if it can harm a baby. Ask your doctor for advice before you use the medication and breastfeed. 

Do not give this medication to a child who is two years and below without proper advice from your physician.

Dulcolax Uses

Dulcolax is used to cure constipation. It can also be used to clean and flush out the intestines prior to any bowel exam or surgical heart treatment. Dulcolax is a stimulant laxative. It works by helping increase the intestine’s movement to enable the stool to come out.

Using Dulcolax

Take the medication orally and as directed by your physician. When you are treating yourself, you should follow the directions as indicated in the product package. If you are unsure about any of the info contained, call your doctor to ask for information regarding its use.

Swallow Dulcolax as a whole. Never chew, break, or crush the tablet and or take it within one hour of consuming any milk, milk products, or antacids. Doing so can lead to stomach problems and nausea.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Dulcolax use is cramping, stomach pain, diarrhea, weakness, nausea, or more. If these conditions occur or persist, call your doctor immediately. 

Inform your physician immediately if you experience any serious side effects as:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased Urination
  • Mental Changes
  • Mood Changes

Other serious allergic reactions can occur, but this is very rare. It can include skin rashes, itching, swelling of the face, throat or tongue, trouble breathing, and dizziness. This is not an exclusive list of possible side effects, ask your doctor if you noticed any that are not listed here.

Dosage and Administration

The dosage of Dulcolax can be based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and age. You should not attempt to increase your dosage or take the drug more often than what your doctor has directed. Never take this medication for over seven days unless your physician advised you do so. There are serious side effects that can occur from the misuse and abuse of Dulcolax.

Use Dulcolax precisely as directed on the product label or as advised by your doctor. Do not use it in either larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Overusing Dulcolax can cause your bowels to work abnormally, or you can be dependent on laxative use. Dulcolax is taken by mouth, but there is also an enema and a suppository kind of medicine that is used as an insert to the rectum. Avoid crushing, breaking, or chewing the tablet — Swallow Dulcolax as a whole with a glass of water. 

Dulcolax taken orally will create bowel movement approximately wishing the next 6-12 hours. When used in the rectum, it can create a much faster effect. Bowel movement will occur in about 15-60 minutes of using the rectal suppository. 5-20 minutes of rectal enema use empty your bladder before you insert Dulcolax in your rectum. Do not take enema or suppository by mouth. Wash your hands before and after using rectal suppository Dulcolax.

How To Use As Suppository

  1. Take out the suppository from the wrapper. Do not handle it for too long, or it will melt. If it is soft, you can hold it under cold water or freeze it in the fridge for a few minutes.
  2. Lie down with your right knee extending up to your chest. Very gently insert the suppository to your rectum until about one inch deep.
  3. Remain lying down for some minutes. The suppository will swiftly melt away, and you will not feel any discomfort as you hold it in.
  4. Avoid using more than one suppository a day.

How To Use As Rectal Enema

  1. Shake the enema first before you use it. Take off the cap from the tip of the enema.
  2. Lie down on your left side, and your right knee up against your chest, lean forward, and gently insert the tip of the enema to your rectum. Target the direction towards your navel area. 
  3. Mildly squeeze the enema bottle until such time that it is empty, remove it from your rectum as you finish.
  4. For best results, make sure to hold the enema on your rectum for approximately ten to fifteen minutes. Then empty up as you sit on the toilet bowl. 

Give your medical doctor a call if you are unable to move your bowel after you use Dulcolax or if you have problems with your constipation for over seven days or more. When you are using Dulcolax before your medical exam, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions about how to use it properly. Make sure you store your medicine at room temperature. Stay away from moisture, damp, and areas that generate heat.

Drug Interaction

Do not use any medication within the first 2 hours or after 2 hours of using Dulcolax. Do not take an antacid or drink milk one hour before you take Dulcolax orally. Some medications can interact with Dulcolax, including some OTC medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Ask your physician or pharmacist about all the medications you are using before you use or stop using Dulcolax.

The effects of some medicines can vary if you consume other drugs or herbal supplements to relief from fainting. This can enhance your risk of other serious side effects. Drug interaction can be possible. However, it does not always happen. Your medical doctor can manage interactions by adjusting how you use your medication or with proper monitoring.

Warnings and Precautions

Before you take Dulcolax, ask your doctor if you may be allergic to it. It can contain certain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions and problems. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for further details.

Before you use Dulcolax, ask your doctor about your allergies, inform them of your medical history, like if you have a history of prior appendicitis, a sudden change in bowel movement that went on for weeks, intestinal blocks, or bleeding on your rectum. Before you have surgery, ask your doctor about all the products you may have used, including prescription, OTC drugs, or herbal supplements. 

Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant before you use Dulcolax. Using it for an extended period when pregnant is not recommended. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. It has not been established if Dulcolax passes into breast milk. Ask your doctor if you intend to use it while breastfeeding and what effects it may have with your nursing baby.

Overdose and Contraindications

When someone you know has overdosed or has severe symptoms like trouble breathing, passing out, or more, call a doctor or pharmacist for immediate medical assistance. You can also call on the poison control center immediately. Residents from the USA can call on their local poison control center for assistance. Severe symptoms of overdose can include persistent nausea, vomiting, cause diarrhea, stomach pain, or cramps.

Missed Dose of Dulcolax

When your doctor has advised that you take it on a particular schedule and you missed a dose, take it as soon as you can remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose altogether. Take it the next regular time. Do not attempt to take a double dose to make up for a missed dosage.


Different medications require different storage requirements. Always read the product label found on the packaging on how to properly store your Dulcolax medicine. Keep your medication away from pets and children’s reach at all times. 

Never flush out your medication down the toilet or the drain unless when you are told to do so. Follow proper ways of discarding your medication found on the product packaging when no longer in need or when the product expires. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for proper waste disposal.