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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Severe stomach pain, laxative dependence. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Abdominal cramping, burning sensation in the rectum (with suppository), diarrhea.
Less Common

Nausea; vomiting; muscle weakness; rectal pain, bleeding, burning, or itching. If you have a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts longer than 2 weeks, consult your doctor.
Bisacodyl


Drug Class:
Stimulant laxative

Available OTC?: Yes

Available Generic?: Yes

Correctol 5 mg
(Schering-Plough)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions



Available In
Tablets, powder, suppositories

Why Prescribed
To relieve short-term constipation or to clear the bowel before rectal or bowel examination, surgery, or childbirth.

How It Works
Bisacodyl increases the volume of fluid in the intestines to stimulate passage of the stool. It also acts on the smooth muscle of the intestine to increase contractions.

Range and Frequency
For constipation-- Adults and teenagers: Tablets: 10 to 15 mg at bedtime. Children age 6 and older: 5 mg before breakfast. Swallow tablets whole; do not chew. For medical examination-- Adults and teenagers: Up to 30 mg orally, or 10 mg given rectally before examination. Children age 6 and older: 5 mg orally or rectally, before breakfast.

Onset of Effect
Tablets: Within 6 to 12 hours. Suppositories: Within 15 to 60 minutes.

Duration of Action
Variable.

Dietary Advice
Take the tablet on an empty stomach for rapid effect. Increase intake of fluids and dietary fiber.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period. However, you may stop taking the drug if you are feeling better before the scheduled end of the therapy.

Prolonged Use
Do not use this medicine for more than one week unless your doctor prescribes it.

Over 60
Excessive use of this drug by an older person can cause loss of body fluid leading to weakness and lack of coordination.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the medicine affects you.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol while taking this drug.

Pregnancy
Bisacodyl is not usually used during pregnancy, except immediately before delivery. Consult your doctor for advice.

Breast Feeding
Bisacodyl may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Do not give this medicine to a child under 6 without your doctor's approval. Do not give this medicine to a child who refuses to have a bowel movement. It may result in a painful bowel movement, which will make the child resist even more.

Special Concerns
Remember that chronic use of bisacodyl or any laxative can lead to laxative dependence. You should consume adequate amounts of fiber in your diet, sources of which include bran or whole-grain cereals, fruit, and vegetables.

Overdose Symptoms
Weakness, increased sweating, lower abdominal pain, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat.

What to Do
An overdose of bisacodyl is unlikely to be life-threatening. However, if someone takes a much larger dose than prescribed, seek medical assistance immediately.

Drug Interactions
Be sure to tell your doctor about any other drugs you are taking, especially antacids. Do not take an antacid within 2 hours of taking this drug.

Food Interactions
Do not drink milk within 2 hours of taking this drug.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when taking bisacodyl. Consult your doctor if you have very severe constipation, severe pain in the stomach or lower abdomen, cramping, bloating, nausea, or unexplained rectal bleeding. Failure to produce a bowel movement or the presence of rectal bleeding may indicate a serious medical condition.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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