What is Docusate sodium used for?
Docusate sodium is commonly used to treat occasional constipation. Some medications and conditions can make constipation more likely. Stool softeners such as docusate are often the first method used for preventing and treating this type of constipation. Docusate is often used when straining to have a bowel movement should be avoided (e.g., after a heart attack or surgery).
Docusate is a stool softener. It works by increasing the amount of water the stool absorbs in the gut, making the stool softer and easier to pass.
How should I take Docusate sodium?
Take this medication by mouth, usually at bedtime with a full glass (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) of water or juice, or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Decrease your dose or stop taking this medication if you develop diarrhea.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you are using the drops, measure the medication with the dropper provided, or use a dose-measuring spoon or device to make sure you have the correct dose. Mix the syrup, liquid or drops in 4 to 8 ounces of fruit juice, milk or infant formula to prevent throat irritation and mask a bitter taste.
Use this medication only when needed. Do not use this product for more than 1 week unless directed by your doctor.
Relief is usually seen in 1 to 3 days.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
How do I store Docusate sodium?
Docusate sodium is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Docusate sodium in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Docusate sodium that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Docusate sodium down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Docusate sodium?
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication: severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, sudden change in bowel habits over the previous 2 weeks.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Docusate sodium during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this Docusate sodium. This Docusate sodium is pregnancy risk category N according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
What side effects can occur from Docusate sodium?
Stomach pain, diarrhea, or cramping may occur. Irritated throat (with liquid or syrup forms) may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if this unlikely but serious side effect occurs: rectal bleeding.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Docusate sodium?
Some products that may interact with this drug include: mineral oil, drugs containing phenolphthalein.
Docusate sodium may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with Docusate sodium?
Docusate sodium may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Docusate sodium?
Docusate sodium may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Docusate sodium.
What is the dose of Docusate sodium for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Constipation
Oral: 50 to 400 mg (using any of the salt forms) orally administered in 1 to 4 equally divided doses each day.
Rectal: 200 to 283 mg rectally administered as an enema once or twice.
Alternative: 50 to 100 mg (docusate sodium liquid) added to a retention or flushing enema once a day.
Docusate should generally be used for a period of less than 1 week.
What is the dose of Docusate sodium for a child?
Usual Pediatric Dose for Constipation
less than 3 years: 10 to 40 mg (docusate sodium) orally divided in 1 to 4 doses.
3 to 6 years: 20 to 60 mg (docusate sodium) orally divided in 1 to 4 doses.
6 to 12 years: 40 to 150 mg (docusate sodium) orally divided in 1 to 4 doses.
greater than 12 years: 50 to 400 mg (using any of the salt forms) orally administered in 1 to 4 equally divided doses each day.
3 to 18 years: 50 to 100 mg (docusate sodium liquid) added to a retention or flushing enema once a day.
Alternative: 200 to 283 mg rectally administered as an enema once daily as needed for constipation.
How is Docusate sodium available?
Docusate sodium is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Soft Gel
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Docusate sodium, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 25, 2018 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019
Docusate Sodium. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-323/docusate-sodium-oral/details. Accessed January 22, 2018.
Docusate Dosage. https://www.drugs.com/dosage/docusate.html. Accessed January 22, 2018.