What is docusate-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Docusate is a commonly used non-prescription (OTC
or over-the-counter) stool softener used to treat or prevent constipation.
Docusate is an anionic surfactant that helps lower the surface tension at the
oil-water interface of the stool, and thus allows water and lipids or fats to
enter the stool. Consequently, fecal matter is softened which helps natural
defecation or bowel movement. Relief of constipation may occur with 1 to 3 days
of therapy. Docusate is available in various salt forms including docusate sodium,
docusate potassium, and docusate calcium. The salt forms of docusate are
considered to be interchangeable. Docusate was approved by the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in 1957.
What brand names are available for docusate-oral?
Aqualax, Colace, Colace Micro-Enema, Conate, Correctol Extra
Gentle, Diocto, DocQLace, Docu Soft, Docu, Docuprene, Docusil, DocuSol Kids,
DocuSol Mini, DOK, Dulcolax Stool Softener, D.O.S., DC Softgels, Dialose,
Enemeez Mini, Genasoft, GoodSense Stool Softener, Fam-Colsof, Healthy Mama
Move It Along, Kao-Tin, KS Stool Softener, Laxa Basic, Modane Soft,
Phillips Liquid-Gels, Pedia-Lax, Promolaxin, Regulax SS, Silace, Sof-Lax, Stool
Softener Laxative DC, Stool Softener, Sulfolax, Surfak, Sur-Q-Lax, Therevac SB,
Top Care Stool Softener, Uni-Ease, Vacuant Mini-Enema, Vacuant Plus
Is docusate-oral available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for docusate-oral?
What are the side effects of docusate-oral?
Docusate salts rarely cause side effects since they are not
absorbed into the body. Occasional side effects may include
Throat irritation has occurred in
some patients after taking liquid formulations of docusate orally.
Excessive use of docusate may cause low electrolyte levels and may also result in dependence. Docusate should not be used in people with
- intestinal obstruction,
- acute stomach pain,
- bowel impaction, and
- those who have
nausea and vomiting.
What is the dosage for docusate-oral?
- Adult (≥ 12 years): The recommended oral dose is 50 to 500 mg/day in 1 to 4
divided doses. The recommended rectal dose is 50 to100 mg of docusate liquid
added to enema fluid.
- Pediatric: The recommended dose for infants and children <3 years is 10 to 40
mg/day in 1 to 4 divided doses. The recommended dose in children between the
ages of 3 to 6 is 20 to 60 mg/day in 1 to 4 divided doses. The recommended dose
in children between the ages of 6 to 12 is 40-150 mg/day in 1 to 4 divided
Which drugs or supplements interact with docusate-oral?
No significant drug to drug interactions have been reported with docusate salts. Administration of docusate with mineral oil is not recommended because docusate may increase the absorption of mineral oil which may lead to serious allergic reactions.
Is docusate-oral safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
Docusate is generally considered to be safe during
What else should I know about docusate-oral?
What preparations of docusate-oral are available?
- Docusate Calcium: Softgel Capsules: 240 mg
- Docusate Sodium: 100 mg capsules; 100 mg liquid filled capsules; 50 mg/5 ml
oral solution; 50 mg/5 ml oral suspension; 60 mg/15 ml syrup; 100 mg tablets;
100 mg rectal enema suspension; 282 mg rectal enema suspension.
How should I keep docusate-oral stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C
(59 F to 86 F).