Compare Colace vs. Dulcolax

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Colace
(Docusate)

Dulcolax
(Bisacodyl)

Softens things up. Colace (Docusate) takes longer to work that some alternatives, but it's a more comfortable way to relieve constipation.Treats constipation. Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) works fast and the suppositories work even faster to relieve your constipation, as long as you're okay with it "cramping" your style a bit.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.93Colace
Reviews for Colace (Docusate)
66%
of people (All ages) say Colace (Docusate) is worth it
49%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
125 reviews
Have you used Colace (Docusate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Dulcolax (Bisacodyl)
65%
1% vs. Colace (Docusate)
49%
Same vs. Colace (Docusate)
16%
3% vs. Colace (Docusate)
160 reviews
Have you used Dulcolax (Bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ColaceDulcolax

We haven’t found good data for Colace side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Colace »

We haven’t found good data for Dulcolax side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dulcolax »
How it works
ColaceDulcolax
Colace (Docusate) is a stool softener. It allows both fats and water into stool, which softens it and makes it easier to pass.Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) is a stimulant laxative that you can take by mouth or in a suppository. It causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.
Type of medication
ColaceDulcolax
Laxative
Stool softener
Over-the-counter
Laxative
Stimulant
Over-the-counter
Available as
ColaceDulcolax
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Used for (click to learn more)
ColaceDulcolax
Risk factors for serious side effects
ColaceDulcolax
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Age 60 or greater
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
ColaceDulcolax
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Pain
ColaceDulcolax
  • Ask your doctor before taking Colace if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
Upsides and benefits
ColaceDulcolax
  • Colace is a gentle, non-irritating, non-stimulant constipation reliever.
  • It doesn't cause cramping or the uncomfortable feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Most people feel Colace is worth the hassle.
  • It's safe to use short-term during pregnancy and if you're breast-feeding, but you should still check with your baby doctor first.
  • Colace is used to prevent straining in people who recently had a heart attack.
  • It's a good choice after surgery, giving birth, or when you have hemorrhoids.
  • Most people said it was worth taking and it wasn't too much of a hassle.
  • Tablets give overnight relief of your constipation.
  • Dulcolax can also be used to treat constipation caused by spinal cord injury.
  • Suppositories give you quick relief without having to drink a large amount of liquid medicine.
Downsides and risks
ColaceDulcolax
  • May take up to 12 to 72 hours to take effect.
  • People who are older have medical conditions and take a lot of medicines may need more than 200 mg a day to get results.
  • It may be weaker than alternatives since it isn't a laxative. Studies show that stool softeners like Colace may be less effective than psyllium when it comes to treating constipation.
  • Dulcolax can cause cramping, stomach upset, feeling faint, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • You have to be comfortable with putting the medicine in your rectum.
  • Suppositories can cause slight rectal burning.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ColaceDulcolax
  • It's best to take daily doses at bedtime or you can take it twice a day, but not for more than one week. Works in about 12-72 hours.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Colace to anyone younger than 2 years.
  • Don't use if you're taking mineral oil for constipation. Ask your doctor first.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Colace if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Check with your baby doctor before using or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Swallow tablets whole (don't chew or crush) at bedtime, but not for more than one week.
  • Tablet works in 6 to 12 hours. Suppository works in 15 minutes to an hour, so make sure you're near a bathroom.
  • Don't take tablets within 1 hour of taking antacids, milk or dairy products.
  • Be sure to remove the wrapper from the suppository before inserting it into your rectum.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Dulcolax to anyone younger than 6 years.
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Check with your baby doctor before using or if you're breast-feeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Learn more
More about ColaceSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Colace (Docusate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about DulcolaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dulcolax (Bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it