Compare Colace vs. lactulose

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Softens things up. Colace (Docusate) takes longer to work that some alternatives, but it's a more comfortable way to relieve constipation.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Colace (Docusate)
of people say Colace (Docusate) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
125 reviews

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Side effects

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

FDA side effect reports for Colace »

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

FDA side effect reports for lactulose »
How it works
Colace (Docusate) is a stool softener. It allows both fats and water into stool, which softens it and makes it easier to pass.Coming soon.
Type of medication
Stool softener
Coming soon.
Available as
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Constipation Hepatic encephalopathy; Treatment and Prophylaxis
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
  • Age 60 or older
Detailed Colace (Docusate) risks & warnings »
Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

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.

See the FDA package insert
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

See the FDA package insert
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • 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.
Coming soon.
Downsides and risks
  • 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.
Coming soon.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • 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.
Coming soon.
Learn more
More about ColaceSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about lactuloseSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert