Information on Tablets A-Z
Brand Names:Bisac-Evac; Bisco-Lax; Carter's Little Pills; Dulcolax; Fleet Bisacodyl; Fleet Bisacodyl Enema
Medication prescribed:Bisacodyl, a laxative, is used on a short-term basis to treat constipation. It also is used to empty the bowels before surgery and examinations such as X-ray procedures using barium enemas. Bisacodyl is available with or without a prescription. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used:Bisacodyl comes as a tablet to take by mouth and a suppository and enema to use rectally. It is usually taken the evening before (tablets) or at the time that (suppositories or enema) a bowel movement is desired. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. To empty the bowels, bisacodyl usually is taken orally the night before and rectally the morning of surgery or an examination. The tablets normally cause a bowel movement in 6-8 hours, suppositories in 15-60 minutes, and the enema in 3-5 minutes. Do not take bisacodyl more than once a day or for more than 1 week without talking to your doctor. Do not crush or chew bisacodyl tablets; swallow them whole. Do not take tablets within 1 hour of drinking milk or taking antacids. Do not eat after taking bisacodyl tablets in preparation for a barium enema. Take bisacodyl exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Frequent or continued use of bisacodyl may make you dependent on laxatives and cause your bowels to lose their normal ability. If you do not have a regular bowel movement or you have rectal bleeding after taking this medication as directed for 1 week, call your doctor. Do not give bisacodyl to a child less than 10 years of age unless a doctor tells you to. If you are to insert a bisacodyl suppository, follow these steps: Remove the wrapper. Dip the tip of the suppository in lukewarm water. Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.) Using your finger, insert the suppository high into your rectum. Hold it in place for a few moments. Try to keep it there for as long as possible. Wash your hands thoroughly. If you are to use a bisacodyl enema, follow these steps: Shake the enema bottle well. Remove the protective shield from the tip. Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.) Gently insert the enema bottle into the rectum with the tip pointing toward the navel. Squeeze the bottle gently until nearly all the medicine is expelled. Remove the enema bottle from the rectum. Hold the enema contents in place for as long as possible. Wash your hands thoroughly.
Special precautions:Before taking bisacodyl, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bisacodyl, aspirin, tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and medicines, including bisacodyl), or any other drugs. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking. tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking bisacodyl, call your doctor.
If I forget a dose:This medication usually is taken as needed. If your doctor has told you to take bisacodyl regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. 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 a missed one.
What side effects:Although side effects from bisacodyl are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: stomach cramps upset stomach diarrhea stomach and intestinal irritation faintness irritation or burning in the rectum (from suppositories)
What storage conditions:Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
Other information:Keep all appointments with your doctor. Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
More information: Bisacodyl