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Laxative, stimulant (By mouth)

Treats constipation by helping you have a bowel movement.

Brand Name(s):

Alophen, Biscolax, Black-Draught, Cholan-HMB, Correctol, DR. Caldwell Senna Laxative, Dulcolax, Dulcolax Bowel Cleansing Kit, Dulcolax Bowel Prep Kit, EX-Lax, EX-Lax Maximum Strength, Femintrol, Fleet Bisacodyl, Fletcher's Castoria, Gentle Laxative

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any stimulant laxatives, or if you have intestinal blockage, signs of appendicitis (severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting), or rectal bleeding of unknown cause.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Chewable Tablet, Liquid Filled Capsule, Granule, Flake, Liquid, Powder, Tablet, Coated Tablet, Delayed Release Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • If you are using this medicine without a prescription, follow the instructions on the medicine label.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of liquid daily.
  • Swallow the capsule,tablet, or coated tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
  • The chewable tablet should be completely chewed before you swallow it.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup.
  • The granules may be eaten plain, mixed with liquids such as milk, or sprinkled on soft food (such as applesauce or yogurt).
  • You may need to shake the oral liquid before you use it.
  • Dissolve the powder in water or fruit juice, and drink the mixture right away.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You should not use a laxative within 2 hours before or after taking other medicines.
  • You should not use a laxative containing bisacodyl, such as Dulcolax®, within 1 hour before or after drinking milk or taking an antacid.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
  • Do not give laxatives to children under 6 years old unless you talk to your doctor.
  • You should not use this laxative for longer than 1 week unless approved by your doctor. Laxatives may be habit-forming and can harm your bowels if you use them too long.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle aches
  • Skin rash
  • Weakness or tiredness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Burping
  • Diarrhea or cramps
  • Nausea

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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