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All about: Ex-Lax Stool Softener

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Generic Name: docusate (DAH cue sate)
Brand Names: Aqualax, Calube, Colace, Colace Micro-Enema, Correctol Softgel Extra Gentle, DC-240, Dialose, Diocto, Dioctocal, Dioctosoftez, Dioctyn, Dionex, Doc-Q-Lace, Docu Soft, Docucal, Doculax, Docusoft S, DOK, DOS, Doss-Relief, DSS, Ex-Lax Stool Softener, Fleet Sof-Lax, Genasoft, Kasof, Modane Soft, Octycine-100, Regulax SS, Sulfalax Calcium, Sur-Q-Lax, Surfak Stool Softener, Therevac-SB

What is Ex-Lax Stool Softener (docusate)?

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

Docusate is used to treat constipation due to hard stools, in painful anorectal conditions, and for people who should avoid straining during bowel movements.

Docusate may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Ex-Lax Stool Softener (docusate)?

Do not use docusate if you have stomach (abdominal) pain, nausea, or vomiting, unless directed by doctor. Do not take mineral oil or aspirin while taking docusate, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Who should not take Ex-Lax Stool Softener (docusate)?

Do not take docusate without first talking to your doctor if you have
  • an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis,

  • other intestinal problems, or

  • abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.

You may not be able to take docusate or you may require special monitoring while taking docusate if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Do not take docusate without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. Do not take docusate without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Some forms of docusate are formulated for use by children. Talk to the child's doctor before using this product to treat a child.

How should I take Ex-Lax Stool Softener (docusate)?

Take docusate exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Docusate is available in tablet and capsule formulations. Swallow the tablets and capsules whole. Do not chew or crush them.

Docusate is also available in liquid form. To ensure that you get the correct dosage, measure docusate with a dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Mix the liquid with 6 to 8 ounces of milk, fruit juice, or infant formula and drink immediately.

Docusate is also available for use as a rectal enema. To use a rectal enema:

  • Shake the bottle gently to make sure the suspension is mixed. Remove the protective cap from the applicator tip. Holding the bottle at the neck will not cause any of the medication to come out.

  • Gently insert the tip into the rectum, pointing toward the belly button (umbilicus). A steady squeezing of the bottle will discharge most of the medication.

The effect on stools is usually apparent 1 to 3 days after the first dose of docusate. Do not take docusate for more than 1 week unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Store docusate at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. It is not necessary to take a double dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a docusate overdose are not known but might include nausea, vomiting or stomach pain.

What should I avoid while taking Ex-Lax Stool Softener (docusate)?

Do not take mineral oil or aspirin while taking docusate, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Ex-Lax Stool Softener (docusate) side effects

If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, stop taking docusate and seek medical treatment or call your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • rectal bleeding;

  • severe abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting; or

  • no bowel movement.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take docusate and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • a bitter taste or throat irritation;

  • skin rash;

  • diarrhea; or

  • mild nausea.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Ex-Lax Stool Softener (docusate)?

Before taking docusate, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • any prescription medicines;

  • aspirin or products that contain aspirin; or

  • mineral oil.

You may not be able to take docusate, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with docusate, and docusate may affect the actions of many other medicines, including the ones listed above. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about docusate written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Docusate is available over-the-counter generically and under many brand names in several formulations. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.05. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:02:09 PM.

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