Bisacodyl : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Bisacodyl is used short-term to treat constipation. It is also used to empty the intestines before surgery and certain medical procedures. Bisacodyl is in a class of medications called stimulant laxatives. It works by increasing the activity of the intestines to cause a bowel movement.
How should this medicine be used?
Bisacodyl comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken the night before a bowel movement is desired. Bisacodyl normally causes a bowel movement within 6 to 12 hours. Do not take bisacodyl more than once a day or for more than 1 week without consulting your doctor. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take bisacodyl exactly as directed. Frequent or continuous use of bisacodyl can make you dependent on laxatives and cause your intestines to lose their normal activity. If you don’t have a regular bowel movement after taking bisacodyl, stop taking any more medicine and talk to your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water. do not split, chew, or crush them.
Do not take bisacodyl within 1 hour after drinking or eating dairy products.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking bisacodyl,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bisacodyl, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in these products. Check the label or ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- If you are taking antacids, wait at least 1 hour before taking bisacodyl.
- Tell your doctor if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or a sudden change in bowel movements that lasts longer than 2 weeks.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking bisacodyl, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
A regular diet and exercise program are important for regular bowel function. Eat a high fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids (eight glasses) every day as recommended by your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
This medication is usually taken as needed. If your doctor has told you to take bisacodyl regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Bisacodyl may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach cramps
- stomach discomfort
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience this symptom, stop taking bisacodyl and call your doctor immediately:
- rectal bleeding
Bisacodyl may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about bisacodyl.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
- Carter’s Little Pills®
- Fleet® Bisacodyl
Brand names of combination products
- HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Tablet Bowel Prep Kit® (containing Bisacodyl, PEG-3350, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride)
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.