Colace belongs to the group of drugs known as laxatives (stool softeners). It is used for the treatment of common constipation or constipation related to certain medical conditions. It softens stool and makes it pass through the system with ease. Colace is sold as a prescription drug and over-the-counter drug in capsule, tablets, drops, rectal enema or syrup forms. The generic (Docusate) and the brand-name (Colace) types are available. Colace is presented in all strengths unlike the generic type.
Colace is used to treat constipation by softening the stool and making it easier to be excreted out of the body, without pain or stress. Constipation makes it very uncomfortable (even painful) for stool to be excreted. Docusate sodium is the active ingredient of this drug. It helps water and fats inside the body mix with the stool. This makes the stool soft and helps you help you excrete with ease. Colace is often prescribed by doctors as the first step in managing and preventing constipation. This drug is very effective in patients who really need to excrete with ease due to heart attack or surgery. As a non-stimulant laxative, Colace works better as a preventive measure against constipation than a cure to already severe constipation. Your doctor may also prescribe this drug to prevent constipation if you have Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease or for some cases of multiple sclerosis.
Take Colace by mouth, with a full glass of water, exactly as directed by your doctor. Swallow capsule whole, do not break, chew, crush or open the capsule. Take it with or without food. While on this medication, take lots of water. Bowel movement will resume with ease after 12-72 hours of taking this drug.
If you are using docusate (colace) enema, do not take by mouth. You are to insert it into your rectum. Make sure to wash your hands before and after insertion. Make sure you empty your bladder and bowel (as best as you can) before inserting this drug. Take out the cap covering the tip of the enema. Lie on your left side and bend your knees. Carefully put the tip of the enema applicator into your rectum. Squeeze applicator and make sure the whole content is emptied into your rectum. To get the best out of this drug, hold in the enema until your bowel movement starts again with ease (or as long as you are able to). This usually takes about 2-15 minutes. Discard the enema container immediately after use, even if some of it is still left inside. You are to use one enema applicator just once.
Use Colace exactly as directed by your doctor. If you are taking the liquid form of the drug, measure out the dosage specified for you with a special measuring device (cup or spoon). Do not use your household spoon or cup as they have different dimensions and will alter your dosage. To take liquid Colace, mix with about 6-8 ounces of fruit juice, milk or infant formula and drink immediately.
The usual daily dose for adults taking the oral tablet or capsule is 50-400 mg divided into 1-4 parts. This should be taken for a week. Children under 12 years and young adults are to take 1-6 portions of 50 mg daily. Give children between 2-12 years should take 1-3 parts of 50 g daily. Colace is not recommended for children under 2 years unless advised by their paediatrician to do so. Adults above 18 years should use 200-283 mg of rectal enema, once or twice every day. Younger adults and children under 3 years should use 50-100 mg of Colace sodium liquid mixed with retention or flushing enema, once in a day. Normal bowel movement should resume gradually within 3 days. Do not use this medication for more than one week. If there is no improvement after 3 days, tell your doctor. Extensive use of this drug can cause very serious medical problems.
There is no regular dosing schedule for Colace medication, therefore missing a dose will not have much effect on your recovery. You are to only use the drug when needed. If you forget to take any dose, take as soon as you remember. Do not use a double dose once. Overdosing this drug may cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Contact your doctor or the emergency room in any incidence of overdose.
Colace Side Effects
Some people have or develop allergy to Colace medication. If you notice the following symptoms while using this drug, you may be allergic to colace; swollen face, throat, lip or tongue, laboured breaths and hives.
You may experience common side effects of this drug as your body tries to adapt to it. These side effects include; profuse sweating, irritation of the rectum, bloated stomach due to excess gas, dizziness, fatigue and diarrhoea. Common side effects usually subside after few doses. In rare cases the symptoms may progress to severe symptoms. Contact your doctor immediately, if you develop these severe symptoms;
- Fast heartbeat
- Cheat pain
- Severe dizziness
- Rectal bleeding
- Rectal numbness
- Rash on the rectum
- Stomach pain
- Severe diarrhoea
- Lack of bowel movement (continuous constipation)
Do not use Colace if you have a blockage in your intestine or any severe stomach pain that has not been properly diagnosed by a doctor. Do not take mineral oil when using this drug. Ask your doctor about the safety of this drug if you are currently on a low salt diet or have any recent changes in your stooling habit lasting up to 2 weeks. The FDA rates this drug as category C for pregnant women. Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless advised to do so by your doctor. Do not use for children under 6 years unless strongly advised to do so by your doctor. Do not share this drug with another person.
Store in a dry cool place, away from pets and children, away from extreme temperatures. Dispose unused drug through the drug take-back program in your locality or consult your pharmacist for proper ways of disposal.
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