What is this medicine?

BISACODYL (bis a KOE dill) is a laxative. This medicine is used to relieve constipation. It may also be used to empty and prepare the bowel for surgery or examination.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Alophen, Bisac-Evac, Corrective Laxative for Women, Correctol, Dacodyl, Doxidan, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax Ultra, Feen-A-Mint, Fematrol, Femilax, Fleet, Reliable Gentle Laxative, Veracolate

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions

  • appendicitis
  • persistent constipation
  • stomach pain or blockage
  • ulcerative colitis or other bowel disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to bisacodyl, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush or chew. Do not take this medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be used in children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This medicine is not for regular use, and should only be used as needed.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antacids
  • h2-blockers like cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine, and ranitidine
  • proton pump inhibitors like esomeprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, and rabeprazole

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Do not use this medicine for longer than directed by your doctor or health care professional. This medicine can be habit-forming. Long-term use can make your body depend on the laxative for regular bowel movements, damage the bowel, cause malnutrition, and problems with the amounts of water and salts in your body. If your constipation keeps returning, check with your doctor or health care professional.

Do not take this medicine within 1 hour of taking antacids or eating dairy products like milk or yogurt. These items can destroy the protective coating on the tablets and increase stomach upset and cramps.

If you do not have a bowel movement within 12 hours after using this medicine or you experience rectal bleeding, contact your doctor or health care professional. These may be signs of a more serious condition.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • diarrhea
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea, vomiting
  • unusual weight loss

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • bloating
  • discolored urine
  • lower stomach discomfort or cramps
  • rectal itching, burning, or swelling

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature below 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy