What is this medicine?
BISACODYL is a stimulant laxative. It acts directly on the bowels, stimulating the bowel muscles to cause a bowel movement. Bisacodyl is used for relieving occasional constipation and irregularity. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have heart failure, abnormal levels of fluids or electrolytes in your body, nausea, vomiting, or undiagnosed stomach pain
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with bisacodyl. However, no specific interactions with bisacodyl are known at this time.
Ask your health care provider if bisacodyl may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How should I use this medicine?
Use bisacodyl as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take bisacodyl by mouth with or without food.
- Take bisacodyl with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking bisacodyl is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Swallow bisacodyl whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- Do not take bisacodyl within 1 hour after taking an antacid or milk.
- If you miss a dose of bisacodyl and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use bisacodyl.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Contact your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; stomach cramps.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
- Do not use for longer than 1 week without checking with your doctor. Using bisacodyl for a long time may result in loss of normal bowel function.
- Do not take additional laxatives or stool softeners with bisacodyl unless directed by your doctor.
- Rectal bleeding or failure to have a bowel movement within 12 hours after use of a laxative may be a sign of a serious condition. Stop use and contact your doctor.
- If you develop nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain, stop using bisacodyl and check with your doctor.
- If you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for 2 weeks or more, do not continue using bisacodyl. Instead, check with your doctor.
- Use bisacodyl with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Bisacodyl should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using bisacodyl while pregnant. It is not known if bisacodyl is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding take bisacodyl, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Cramps; faintness; stomach discomfort.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.
How should I keep this medicine?:
Store bisacodyl at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep bisacodyl out of the reach of children and away from pets.