Bisacodyl is used to relieve constipation by increasing bowel movement. It is also used for bowel cleansing before surgery or bowel examinations.
Bisacodyl may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Bisacodyl exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. It is best to take it in the evening to have a bowel movement the next morning.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
Swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet. Do not take this medicine within 1 hour of antacids, milk or other dairy products.
You may stop taking this medicine when you have no more constipation.
Check with your doctor or nurse on how to take Bisacodyl if you are taking it for bowel cleansing.
Take 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.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- 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.
Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease.
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.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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.
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, and blood in the stool.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- weakness, muscle cramps, tingling or numbness in the hands, arms, legs or feet
- irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
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.
This medicine should not be taken with antacids as antacids could reduce the effectiveness of this medicine. If you must take antacids, take between meals at least 2 hours after you have taken this medicine.
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.
Do not take Bisacodyl with dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt or ice cream. Dairy products may reduce the effectiveness of this medicine when taken at the same time. Take this medicine at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you have taken any dairy products.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.