Bisacodyl - rectal

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Bisacodyl is used to relieve constipation by increasing bowel movement. It is also used for bowel cleansing before surgery or bowel examinations.
How do I use this medicine?
Use Bisacodyl exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.

This medicine is available as a suppository or enema.

Bisacodyl suppository or enema is to be inserted into the rectum. Do not eat, chew or swallow it. Do not use it in any other way. Try to go to the toilet before you insert the suppository or enema.

If you are using the suppository, follow these steps:
  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Remove the suppository from the foil wrapper.
  3. If you are right-handed, lie on your left side and pull your right knee up to your chest.
  4. Gently insert the suppository with the pointed end first into your rectum. Gently push the suppository as far as it would go.
  5. Remain lying in this position for 15-20 minutes to allow the suppository to melt. If you feel that the suppository is slipping out, press your buttocks together. The suppository must remain in the rectum so that the medicine can be absorbed.
If you are using the enema, follow these steps:
  1. Shake the bottle well.
  2. Remove the protective shield.
  3. If you are right-handed, lie on your left side and pull your right knee up to your chest.
  4. Gently insert the tip into the rectum with slight side to side movement.
  5. Squeeze the bottle until almost all liquid is expelled.
  6. Remain lying in this position for a couple of minutes before sitting or standing.
  7. Gently remove the unit; small amount of liquid will remain in the container.
  8. Discard the container after use.
You may stop using this medicine when you have no more constipation.

Check with your doctor or nurse on how to use Bisacodyl if you are taking it for bowel cleansing.
What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • inflammation, open sores or wound around the anus
  • cracking of the skin around the anus
  • blocked bowels (intestinal obstruction)
  • abdominal pain with nausea or vomiting
  • severe dehydration
  • appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix) or inflammation of the bowels
  • blockage in the intestine (ileus)
as Bisacodyl may not be suitable for you.
What should I take note of while using this medicine?
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.

Bisacodyl should not be taken for more than 5 days. Habitual use of laxatives may make your bowels dependent on them.

What lifestyle changes can I make to prevent constipation?

You can adopt some of the following lifestyle changes to help prevent constipation:
  • Include high-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole-grain cereals and breads in your diet. Add fibre to your diet gradually to help reduce gas and bloating.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. Limit caffeine intake, which may worsen symptoms of constipation by causing dehydration.
  • Be active and exercise regularly.
  • Do not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.
What side effects could I experience?
Bisacodyl may cause dizziness or fainting. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.

Other side effects include any of the following: stomach pain, cramps or discomfort; nausea, vomiting, dehydration, blood in the stool, burning sensation or discomfort in the anus area.

Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I use this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. furosemide
  • anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. prednisolone
  • other medicines for constipation e.g. senna
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Bisacodyl.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on bisacodyl - rectal and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2021 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
Register or sign in to continue
Asia's one-stop resource for medical news, clinical reference and education
Sign up for free
Already a member? Sign in