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Consumer Medicine Information
This leaflet answers some common questions about Dulcolax.
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about Dulcolax or if you have any trouble before, during or after using Dulcolax.
This leaflet was last updated on the date at the end of this leaflet. More recent information may be available. The latest Consumer Medicine Information is available from your pharmacist, doctor, or from www.medicines.org.au and may contain important information about the medicine and its use of which you should be aware.
Keep this information with your Dulcolax. You may need to read it again.
Dulcolax is used to treat constipation.
Under medical supervision, Dulcolax can be used for the evacuation of the bowel before a radiological examination or as an enema alternative.
Dulcolax works by acting on the lining of the lower bowel to stimulate movement. This movement produces soft formed stools.
Do not use Dulcolax if you are allergic to
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
Do not use Dulcolax if you have, or have had, any of the following conditions:
If you are uncertain as to whether you have, or have had, any of these conditions, talk your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not give this medicine to a child under the age of 10 years.
There is not enough information to recommend the use of this medicine for children under the age of 10 years
Do not use Dulcolax after the expiry date (EXP) on the foil, blister pack or carton or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If you use it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have, or have had any other medical conditions including:
Suppositories may cause pain and local irritation, especially if you have a painful tear in the lining of the anus or inflammation of the rectum.
Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Dulcolax when pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Dulcolax when breast-feeding.
Dulcolax does not pass into breast milk. It can be used during breastfeeding.
If you have not told your doctor or pharmacist about any of the above, tell them before you use Dulcolax.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Dulcolax may interfere with each other. These include:
Dulcolax may not work as well in the presence of some other medicines or side effects may be increased.
Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you what to do when using Dulcolax with other medicines
Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box/bottle, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
Dulcolax should be used in children only on medical advice. Dulcolax suppositories may be used in children 10 years of age and over.
The usual doses for adults and children over 10 years are stated below.
For Enema Alternative
Dulcolax should only be used under medical supervision
If your doctor or pharmacist has changed the recommended dose, ask for further information from your doctor or pharmacist.
Before a Radiological examination
Dulcolax should only be used under medical supervision
If your doctor or pharmacist has changed the recommended dose, ask for further information from your doctor or pharmacist
Follow the directions below to use Dulcolax suppositories:
Dulcolax suppositories generally work in about 20 minutes, but may take up to 45 minutes.
If you are not sure how to use a suppository, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
After taking Dulcolax, avoid straining while passing a bowel motion.
Dulcolax should be used as needed to relieve constipation.
Dulcolax is recommended for short-term use only. If symptoms persist, seek medical advice.
Long-term use of Dulcolax is not recommended. If you use Dulcolax every day, you should consult with your doctor to find out the cause of your constipation.
Long-term and excessive use may cause the bowel to become dependent on Dulcolax for it to produce a bowel motion
If you are not sure how long to use Dulcolax, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Long-term and excessive use of Dulcolax may cause an imbalance of salts in the body (including low potassium), muscle weakness, kidney problems and fluid imbalance. Loss of fluids from the body can cause dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst and passing less urine than normal. In patients experiencing fluid loss where dehydration may be harmful (for example, kidney problems, elderly patients), Dulcolax should be stopped and only restarted under medical supervision.
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), if you think that you or anyone else may have used too much Dulcolax.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
If you have taken too much Dulcolax, you may have diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, fluid loss, and an imbalance of salts in the body (including low potassium).
As with other laxatives, persistent overdose may cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, imbalance of salts in the body (including low potassium), secondary hyperaldosteronism and kidney stones. If an imbalance of salts (low potassium) occurs, then kidney disease, metabolic alkalosis and muscle weakness may be experienced.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you begin taking any other medicine while you are using Dulcolax.
This applies to all medicines obtained with or without a doctor’s prescription.
Tell all doctors and pharmacists who are treating you that you are using Dulcolax.
Drink plenty of water while taking laxatives.
An increase in fibre in your diet is recommended, except in cases of medication-induced constipation.
Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you need to increase the fibre in your diet when using Dulcolax to assist in the treatment of constipation.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Dulcolax affects you. Do not drive or operate machinery if you experience dizziness or fainting.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you have any problems while using Dulcolax, even if you do not think the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.
Like other laxatives, Dulcolax can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Ask for the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns about the effects of using this medicine.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
Abdominal pain and diarrhoea are the most commonly reported side effects. These side effects are usually mild and short lived.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to casualty at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
These are the symptoms of life-threatening allergic (anaphylactic) reactions.
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. Serious side effects are rare.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
Keep Dulcolax in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not store Dulcolax or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not it in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep Dulcolax where young children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop using Dulcolax or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that is left over.
Dulcolax suppositories containing 10 mg of bisacodyl are torpedo-shaped, smooth and white or slightly yellowish in colour. The suppositories are individually foil-wrapped and are available in packs of 10, 50 and 200 suppositories.
Dulcolax is also available as 5 mg tablets.
Both Dulcolax tablets and Dulcolax suppositories are available from your local pharmacy without prescriptions.
Not all pack sizes are distributed in Australia.
Dulcolax suppository contains 10 mg of bisacodyl as the active ingredient.
This medicine does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
Dulcolax suppositories are made in Italy and supplied in Australia by:
Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Limited
(ABN 52 000 452 308)
78 Waterloo Road
NORTH RYDE 2113
Australian Registration Number
AUST R 17926
DULCOLAX is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim
This leaflet was revised in July 2011.
© Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Limited 2011
Published by MIMS/myDr October 2011