This medication is 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.
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.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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.