Also found in: Encyclopedia.
Pharmacologic class: Emollient
Therapeutic class: Stool softener, surfactant
Pregnancy risk category C
Increases absorption of liquid into stool, resulting in softening of fecal mass. Also promotes electrolyte and water secretion into colon.
Capsules: 240 mg
Capsules (soft gels): 240 mg
Rectal solution: 283 mg/5 ml
Capsules: 50 mg, 100 mg, 250 mg
Capsules (soft gels): 100 mg, 250 mg
Liquid: 150 mg/15 ml
Syrup: 50 mg/15 ml, 60 mg/15 ml, 20 mg/5 ml, 100 mg/30 ml, 150 mg/15 ml
Tablets: 100 mg
Indications and dosages
➣ Stool softener
Adults and children older than age 12: 240 mg (docusate calcium) or 50 to 200 mg (docusate sodium) P.O. daily until bowel movements are normal
Children ages 6 to 12: 40 to 120 mg (docusate sodium) P.O. daily
Children ages 3 to 6: 20 to 60 mg (docusate sodium) P.O. daily
• Hypersensitivity to drug
• Abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
• Intestinal obstruction
Use cautiously in:
• pregnant or breastfeeding patients.
• Give tablets and capsules with full glass of water.
• Give liquid solution with milk or fruit juice.
• Be aware that excessive or long-term use may lead to laxative dependence.
EENT: throat irritation
GI: nausea, diarrhea, mild cramps
Other: bitter taste, decreased appetite, laxative dependence
Drug-drug. Mineral oil: increased mineral oil absorption, causing toxicity
Warfarin: decreased warfarin effects (with high doses)
• If diarrhea occurs, withhold drug and notify prescriber.
• Know that therapeutic efficacy usually becomes apparent 1 to 3 days after first dose.
• Instruct patient to drink sufficient fluids with each dose and to increase fluid intake during the day.
• Advise patient to prevent constipation by increasing fluids and consuming more dietary fiber (as in fruits and bran).
• Inform patient that excessive or prolonged use may lead to laxative dependence.
• As appropriate, review all other significant adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs mentioned above.