How do Dulcolax® Laxative Tablets work?
Dulcolax® Tablets belong to a group of medicines known as stimulant laxatives. Each small tablet contains a precisely measured amount of the active ingredient bisacodyl, which stimulates bowel muscles while also accumulating water in the intestines. The effect is to soften the stool and make it pass through more quickly.
Dulcolax® Tablets have a special coating that ensures that the active ingredient is released right where it's needed. The coating resists the acidic digestive juices of the stomach and small intestine.
How should Dulcolax® Laxative Tablets be taken?*
- For the relief of occasional constipation:
- Adults 12 years and over: take 1 to 2 tablets (5-10mg) daily
- Children 6-12 years: take one tablet (5mg) daily
- Take the tablets at night to have a bowel movement in the morning
- Do not crush or chew tablets; swallow them whole. Do not take with milk or antacids
- Do not give Dulcolax® Laxative Tablets to a child less than 6 years of age unless the doctor tells you to
This leaflet is part of the “Prescribing Information” published for Dulcolax® and is designed specifically for consumers. This leaflet is a summary and will not tell you everything about Dulcolax®. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about the drug.
ABOUT THIS MEDICATION
What the medication is used for:
Dulcolax® is used for relief of occasional constipation.
Under medical supervision Dulcolax® is also used to empty the bowels before and after surgery and before examination.
What it does:
Dulcolax® belongs to a group of medicines known as stimulant laxatives. Dulcolax® stimulates the bowel muscles while also accumulating water in the intestines. The effect is to soften the stool and to make it pass through more quickly.
When it should not be used:
- If you have severe abdominal pain associated with nausea and vomiting.
- If you have intestinal obstruction (ileus), acute inflammatory bowel disease, or appendicitis.
- If you are suffering from severe dehydration.
- If you are allergic to the drug or any component of it (see non-medicinal ingredients).
What the medicinal ingredient is:
What the important non-medicinal ingredients are:
Suppositories contain: hard fat.
What dosage forms it comes in:
Suppositories 10 mg
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
BEFORE you use Dulcolax® talk to your doctor or pharmacist:
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicines.
- If you have any pain in the lower abdomen or if you have stomach cramps, fever, nausea or vomiting.
- If you are pregnant.
- If you have taken Dulcolax® already for a week without any
- If you are taking any other medications, including those available without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
Do not give Dulcolax® to a child unless the doctor tells you to.
A laxative should not be taken within two (2) hours of another medicine because the desired effect of the other medicine may be reduced.
You may experience dizziness and/or fainting (syncope) caused by a malaise triggered by abdominal spasm. If you experience abdominal spasm, avoid hazardous tasks such as driving or operating machinery.
INTERACTIONS WITH THIS MEDICATION
Drugs that may interact with Dulcolax® include: diuretics (eg. hydrochlorothiazide), adreno-corticosteroids (eg. hydrocortisone, prednisone), and cardiac glycosides (eg. digoxin). This is not an all-inclusive list of examples.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins and herbals you are taking.
PROPER USE OF THIS MEDICATION
Do not take more than the recommended daily dose. Overuse or extended use of any laxative can cause dependence for bowel function; do not take for more than a week without consulting a physician.
For relief of constipation:
- Adults and children over 12 years: One adult suppository
Suppositories should take from about 15 minutes to 1 hour to stimulate a bowel movement.
One Dulcolax® 10 mg suppository inserted as described below.
Unwrap the suppository from its foil covering. Dip the tip of the suppository for a few seconds in lukewarm water to soften the exterior. Lie down on your side and raise your opposite knee to your chest. Relax the buttock just before inserting the suppository to ease insertion. Gently insert suppository, lubricated pointed end first, high into rectum so that it will not slip out. Push the flat end of the suppository sideways to make sure that part of it touches the wall of the rectum. Continue to lie down for a few minutes and hold the buttocks together to allow the suppository to dissolve in the rectum. Try to retain the suppository in the rectum as long as possible.
If high doses are taken, watery stool (diarrhoea), abdominal cramps, and loss of fluid, potassium and other minerals can occur. Dulcolax® when taken in chronic overdose may cause chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain, kidney damage, and muscle weakness.
In case of overdose, contact your physician, pharmacist, or your regional Poison Control Centre immediately.
SIDE EFFECTS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM
Dulcolax® may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: abdominal discomfort (including abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea), dehydration (with symptoms such as dry, sticky mouth, thirst), dizziness, fainting (syncope), swelling of the colon (large bowel), anorectal discomfort (discomfort involving the anus and rectum) and haematochezia (blood in stools).
If you have any of the following symptoms, stop taking Dulcolax® and call your doctor immediately: allergic reactions (including swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing).
This may not be a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking Dulcolax®, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
HOW TO STORE IT
Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Store in a cool, dry place at room temperature (15 – 25°C).
REPORTING SUSPECTED SIDE EFFECTS
You can report any suspected side effects associated with the use of health products to Health Canada by:
- Visiting the Web page on Adverse Reaction Reporting (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhpmps/medeff/report-declaration/index-eng.php) for information on how to report online,by mail or by fax; or
- Calling toll-free at 1-866-234-2345.
NOTE: Contact your health professional if you need information about how to manage your side effects. The Canada Vigilance Program does not provide medical advice.
This document plus the DULCOLAX Prescribing Information prepared for health professionals can be found at: www.sanofi.ca or by contacting the sponsor, sanofi-aventis Canada Inc., at: 1 800-265-7927.
Please visit our website to see if more up-to-date information has been posted.
This leaflet was prepared by sanofi-aventis Canada Inc.
Last revised: November 16, 2017