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Bisacodyl is used to treat constipation. It may also be used to clean out the intestines before a bowel examination/surgery. Bisacodyl is known as a stimulant laxative. It works by increasing the movement of the intestines, helping the stool to come out.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. If you are self-treating, follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet or take it within 1 hour of antacids, milk, or milk products. Doing so can destroy the coating on the tablet and may increase the risk of stomach upset and nausea.
Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Do not take this medication for more than 7 days unless directed by your doctor. Serious side effects may occur with overuse of this medication (see also Side Effects section).
It may take 6 to 12 hours before this medication causes a bowel movement. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens, or if bleeding from the rectum occurs. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Stomach/abdominal pain or cramping, nausea, diarrhea, or weakness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that 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.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: persistent nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, muscle cramps/weakness, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, decreased urination, mental/mood changes (such as confusion).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking bisacodyl, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: appendicitis or symptoms of appendicitis (such as nausea/vomiting, sudden or unexplained stomach/abdominal pain), a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for longer than 2 weeks, bleeding from the rectum, intestinal blockage.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. Using it for long periods during pregnancy is not recommended. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
See also How To Use section.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: medications that decrease stomach acid (such as H2 blockers like ranitidine, proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe stomach/abdominal pain or cramping, persistent nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.
If your doctor has directed you to take this medication on a regular schedule and 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.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Lifestyle changes that may prevent or relieve constipation include exercising, drinking enough water, and eating a proper diet with fiber-rich foods such as bran, fresh fruits/vegetables. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.