Trade names Colace, Ex-Lax, Senokot S


Oral or rectal agent

Onset of action 12 hrs to 5 days.

Duration of action 3 days.

A laxative used to treat constipation.

A good choice in children who have hard feces.

For opiate induced constipation it may be used with a stimulant laxative.

It can be taken by mouth or rectally.

Usually it works in one to three days.

Side effects are uncommon and include abdominal cramps or diarrhea, and long-term use may cause poor bowel function.

Acceptable during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It is a stool softener type and works by allowing more water to be absorbed by the feces.

It comes in the form of a sodium, calcium, or potassium salts.

Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate is also used as a food additive, emulsifier, dispersant, and wetting agent, among others.

Used to treat constipation, and in painful anorectal conditions such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures to help avoid straining during bowel movements.

Given orally, the effects are usually seen 1 to 3 days after the first dose.

Given rectally, as an enema or suppository, a bowel movement usually occurs within 5 to 20 minutes.

May be used in people who are receiving opioid medication, though prolonged use may cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Evidence of efficacy in treating chronic constipation is lacking.

Docusate sodium can be given by mouth or rectally.

Individuals taking oral docusate should drink plenty of water to irrigate the bowel, thereby increasing motility.

Contraindicated in patients with appendicitis, acute abdomen, or ileus.

It is not suitable for the treatment of chronic constipation, since it is not a cure for any specific underlying cause.

Side effects are typically mild and include stomach pain, diarrhea, or cramping.

The most severe side effect, although rare, is rectal bleeding.

Should not be used with mineral oil as it will result in mineral oil being absorbed rather than functioning as a lubricant for the bowel walls.

Does not stay in the gastrointestinal tract, but is absorbed into the bloodstream and excreted via the gallbladder after undergoing extensive metabolism.

Inhibits fluid absorption or stimulates secretion in the jejunum.

Is a strong irritant for eyes and lungs, and skin irritant.

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