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Bisacodyl

Pronunciation:  biss ah COE dill
Generic:  bisacodyl
Brand:  Alophen, Bisa-Plex, Bisac-Evac, Bisco-Lax, Bisolax, Carters Little Pills, Colax, Dulcogen, Dulcolax, Evac-U-Gen, Fleet Bisacodyl, Modane.

What is bisacodyl?

Bisacodyl is a stimulant laxative. It causes muscles in the colon to contract and stools to pass.

Bisacodyl is used to treat constipation and to cause evacuation of the colon.

Bisacodyl may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

How should I take bisacodyl?

Take bisacodyl exactly as directed by your doctor or as directed on the package. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Swallow the tablets and capsules whole. Do not chew or crush them.

Do not take bisacodyl tablets within 1 hour after taking an antacid or drinking milk.

Bisacodyl is also available as a rectal suppository. To use a rectal suppository:

  • If the suppository seems soft, hold it (in its wrapping) under cold water for one or two minutes before use.
  • Remove the wrapper. If directed, moisten the suppository with water or petroleum jelly.
  • Lie on your side and with the pointed end first, push the suppository into the rectum so it will not slip out.
  • Retain the suppository for 15 to 20 minutes. If you feel the suppository must come out immediately, it was not inserted high enough and should be pushed further into the rectum.

Bisacodyl is also available for use as a rectal enema. To use a rectal enema:

  • Shake the bottle gently to make sure the suspension is mixed. Remove the protective cap from the applicator tip. Holding the bottle at the neck will not cause any of the medication to come out.
  • Gently insert the tip into the rectum, pointing toward the belly button (umbilicus). A steady squeezing of the bottle will discharge most of the medication.

Bisacodyl enema usually produces a bowel movement in 15 to 20 minutes. Bisacodyl suppositories usually produce a bowel movement in 15 minutes to one hour. Bisacodyl tablets usually produce a bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours. Do not take bisacodyl for more than 1 week unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Store bisacodyl at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What are the possible side effects of bisacodyl?

If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, stop taking bisacodyl and seek medical treatment or call your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • rectal bleeding;
  • severe abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting; or
  • no bowel movement.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take bisacodyl and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • dizziness;
  • abdominal (stomach) discomfort;
  • cramps;
  • diarrhea; or
  • mild nausea.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect bisacodyl?

Before taking bisacodyl, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • an antacid or medicine to relieve heartburn; or
  • the stomach medicines cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB), nizatidine (Axid, Axid AR), famotidine (Pepcid, Pepcid AC), ranitidine (Zantac, Zantac 75), omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), or rabeprazole (Aciphex).

You may not be able to take bisacodyl, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with bisacodyl. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

What should I avoid while taking bisacodyl?

Do not take bisacodyl tablets within 1 hour after taking an antacid or drinking milk.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a bisacodyl overdose are not known but might include nausea, vomiting or stomach pain.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.

What is the most important information I should know about bisacodyl?

Do not use bisacodyl if you have stomach (abdominal) pain, nausea, or vomiting, unless directed by a doctor.

If you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that persists over a period of 2 weeks, consult your healthcare provider before using a laxative.

Bisacodyl products should not be used for longer than one week, unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.

Rectal bleeding or failure to have a bowel movement after use of a laxative may indicate a more serious condition. Stop using bisacodyl and contact your healthcare provider.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking bisacodyl?

Do not take bisacodyl without first talking to your doctor if you have abdominal (stomach) pain, nausea, or vomiting. You may not be able to take bisacodyl or you may require special monitoring.

If you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that persists over a period of 2 weeks, consult your healthcare provider before using a laxative.

Do not take bisacodyl without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Do not take bisacodyl without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Some forms of bisacodyl are formulated for use by children. Talk to the childs doctor before using this product to treat a child.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has more information about bisacodyl written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Bisacodyl is available over-the-counter generically and under many brand names in several formulations. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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