What does it do?

Docusate is used to treat and prevent constipation. It is also used to empty your bowel before medical procedures or surgery.

How should you take it?

Use docusate as directed.
Take the tablets or capsules with a glass of water.
Dilute the enema and insert into the rectum.

What if you forget a dose?

If you take docusate regularly and it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with docusate including:

  • other laxatives – discuss this with your pharmacist
  • anti-diarrhoea medicines such as loperamide (e.g. Imodium®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Stomach cramps, diarrhoea

Anal irritation with enema use

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have other stomach or bowel problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Do not use docusate for longer than 1 week unless told to by your doctor.
  • If you have noticed a change in bowel habit that continues for longer than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor before taking docusate.
  • Drink plenty of fluids while taking docusate.