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BISACODYL

Brand Name(s) : Dulcolax, Biolax, Entrolax
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

BISACODYL WARNINGS

Bisacodyl should be used with caution in: women who are pregnant.

It should not be used in: patients who have an obstruction of the intestine (gut), paralytic ileus (lack of bowel movements, leading to blockage of the gut), inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis, a disease of the lower intestine [colon] characterised by open sores [ulcers] with symptoms such as frequent diarrhoea mixed with blood), surgical abdominal (belly) conditions (such as appendicitis), severe dehydration, or severe abdominal pain plus feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Store below 25°C

BISACODYL USES

What is it used for?

  • Bisacodyl is used to relieve constipation (difficulty with bowel movements).
  • It is a stimulant laxative, which induces a laxative effect (stimulating stool production).
  • It is used to relieve constipation by stimulating the uptake of water and certain chemicals called electrolytes into the gut (intestine) and has the effect of stimulating the muscles of the bowels to work and push the faeces out.
  • In general this drug is used to relieve constipation and/or to clear the bowels by stimulating the muscles of the bowels to work and push the faeces out.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include short-term relief of constipation and clearing the bowels of faeces before surgery or certain examinations.

Listed below are the typical uses of bisacodyl.

  • For short-term use for constipation, whenever a stimulant laxative is required
  • Clearance of the bowels before surgery or radiological investigations of the bowel.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take tablets orally, usually once daily at night. Tablets should be taken whole with a glass of water. This medication is also available as a suppository, which should be inserted into the back passage. The usual dose for suppositories is once daily.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take 10 to 12 hours (tablets) or 20 to 60 minutes (suppositories) before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid milk, antacids (used to control indigestion) or proton pump inhibitors (medicines used to reduce stomach acid) with bisacodyl tablets, as these can stop the tablets from working properly. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.

BISACODYL SIDE EFFECTS

  • Series of sharp pains in the bowels (griping)
  • Severe colic (severe pain in the bowels)
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: prolonged constipation.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because 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.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), 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.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

BISACODYL PRECAUTIONS

Before taking bisacodyl, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other laxatives; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: an obstruction of the intestine (gut), paralytic ileus (lack of bowel movements, leading to blockage of the gut), inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis, a disease of the lower intestine [colon] characterised by open sores [ulcers] with symptoms such as frequent diarrhoea mixed with blood), surgical abdominal (belly) conditions (such as appendicitis), severe dehydration, or severe abdominal pain plus feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any history of bowel disorders, in particular, any disorders that cause obstruction or partial obstruction of the gut, any belly pains, feeling sick or vomiting, or bloody stools.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol intake is not known to affect bisacodyl.

The elderly: bisacodyl can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below.

PREGNANCY

Do not use bisacodyl in pregnancy, unless considered necessary by your doctor. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Do not use bisacodyl whilst breastfeeding, unless considered necessary by your doctor.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BISACODYL INTERACTIONS

Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with bisacodyl:

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.

BISACODYL OVERDOSE

Symptoms of an overdose may include: severe pain in the lower belly with possible signs of dehydration, particularly in the elderly and the very young.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of bisacodyl or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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