IN THIS ARTICLE
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using bisacodyl?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to bisacodyl, or if you have:
People with eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia) should not use this medication without the advice of a doctor.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use bisacodyl:
Do not use bisacodyl without telling your doctor if you are pregnant.
Do not use bisacodyl without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medication to a child without the advice of a doctor.
When used to treat constipation, bisacodyl is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet and exercise. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
How should I use bisacodyl?
Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
For best results, take bisacodyl on an empty stomach, or at bedtime.
Do not crush, chew, or break the enteric-coated tablet. Swallow it whole. The enteric-coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating.
Do not take a bisacodyl rectal (enema or suppository) by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.
Try to use the rectal form of this medicine at a time when you can lie down afterward and hold the medicine in. Avoid using the bathroom during this time.
If you are using bisacodyl before surgery or a medical procedure, follow your doctor's instructions about the timing of your dose (the number of days or hours) before your procedure.
Remove the outer wrapper from the suppository before inserting it. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.
Lie on your side and gently insert the suppository pointed end first. For best results, hold in the suppository for a 15 to 20 minutes. The suppository will melt quickly once inserted and you should feel little or no discomfort while holding it in. Avoid using the bathroom just after you have inserted the suppository.
Shake the rectal enema gently just before use. Remove the protective cap from the applicator tip. You may use the enema lying down or seated on a toilet. Gently insert the tip into your rectum and lightly squeeze the bottle to release the enema. Hold the enema in for a few minutes and then release into the toilet.
The rectal forms of bisacodyl should produce a bowel movement within 15 minutes to 1 hour.
The tablet form of bisacodyl should produce a bowel movement within 6 to 12 hours, or overnight when taken at bedtime.
Call your doctor if you do not have a bowel movement after using this medication. Do not use bisacodyl for more than 7 days in a row unless your doctor tells you to.
Store bisacodyl at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Digestive Disorders Resources
- Fiber for Constipation
- Is It Okay to Take a Stool Softener Every Day?
- The Truth About Food Allergies