October 1, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

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Dulcolax

(bisacodyl)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

00003875 DULCOLAX 10MG SUPPOSITORY
00003867 DULCOLAX 5MG SUPPOSITORY
00254142 DULCOLAX 5MG ENTERIC-COATED TABLET

What side effects are possible with Dulcolax?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • abdominal cramps, pain, or discomfort
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • blood in the stool
  • rectal discomfort or pain
  • symptoms of an allergic reaction (e.g., rash, itching)
  • symptoms of irritation of the intestines (e.g., severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea)

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., hives, swelling of the face or throat)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.





Are there any other precautions or warnings for Dulcolax?

Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.

Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever: If you have abdominal pain, nausea, fever, or vomiting, do not take this medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Dizziness and fainting: People taking this medication have reported experiencing dizziness and fainting. This may be from straining to produce a bowel movement or from the pain that can be associated with constipation. If you feel dizzy or faint while taking this medication, contact your doctor.

Long-term use: This medication should not be taken daily or for long periods of time as this may lead to dehydration and low potassium levels. Long-term use can make your bowels dependent on this medication to function.

Rectal conditions: If you have rectal fissures or ulcerative proctitis, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. People with these conditions may experience pain and irritation when using the suppository form of this medication. If you experience rectal bleeding after using the suppositories, contact your doctor.

Tartrazine: This medication contains tartrazine (a colouring agent) and should not be taken by people who are allergic to tartrazine.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: This medication does not pass into breast milk. It is therefore considered safe to use while breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children less than 6 years old. Do not give this medication to children unless recommended by your doctor.

What other drugs could interact with Dulcolax?

Do not take other medications 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking bisacodyl tablets. Bisacodyl tablets may reduce the effectiveness of other medications.

There may be an interaction between bisacodyl and any of the following:

  • antacids (e.g., aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide)
  • corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone)
  • digoxin
  • diuretics (e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide)
  • H2-antagonists (e.g., ranitidine, cimetidine)
  • milk
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs; e.g., omeprazole, pantoprazole)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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