What is docusate?

Docusate is a stool softener. It makes bowel movements softer and easier to pass.

Docusate is used to treat constipation, and to reduce pain or rectal damage caused by hard stools or by straining during bowel movements.

Docusate may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use this medication if you are allergic to docusate.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before using docusate, tell your doctor if you have:

  • an intestinal disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis; or
  • stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.

This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether docusate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Avoid using laxatives or other stool softeners unless your doctor has told you to.

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting or stomach pain.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using docusate and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • rectal bleeding;
  • severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; or
  • no bowel movement.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • a bitter taste or throat irritation;
  • skin rash;
  • diarrhea; or
  • mild nausea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • aspirin or products that contain aspirin; or
  • mineral oil.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with docusate. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Aqualax, Calcium Stool Softener, Calube, Colace, Colace Micro-Enema, Correctol Softgel Extra Gentle, D-S Caps, DOK, DOS, DSS, Diocto, Dioctocal, Dioctosoftez, Dioctyn, Dionex, Doc-Q-Lace, Docu Soft, DocuSol, Docucal, Doculase, Docusoft S, Doss-Relief, Dulcolax Stool Softener, Enemeez Mini, Ex-Lax Stool Softener, Genasoft, Kao-Tin, Kaopectate Stool Softener, Kasof, Phillips Stool Softener, Regulax SS, Silace, Sur-Q-Lax, Surfak Stool Softener, Therevac-SB, docusate, DC-240, Dialose, Dioeze, Docu, Fleet Sof-Lax, Modane Soft, Octycine-100, Octycine-250, Sulfalax Calcium, and Sulfolax

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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.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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