Compare Dulcolax vs. Magnesium Citrate

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

Dulcolax
(Bisacodyl)

Citrate Of Magnesia
(Magnesium Citrate)

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.Treats constipation. Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) works well if you need to really get things moving, but it's not a good medicine to manage chronic constipation.
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Reviews & ratings
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Button Group. All currently active
5.128205128205129Dulcolax
Reviews for Dulcolax (Bisacodyl)
65%
of people say Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) is worth it
49%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate

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

FDA side effect reports for Dulcolax »

We haven’t found good data for Magnesium Citrate side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Magnesium Citrate »
How it works
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
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.Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) is an osmotic and stimulant laxative. It uses osmosis to keep more water in your intestine, which softens your stool and makes it easier to pass. It also causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through.
Type of medication
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
Laxative
Stimulant
Over-the-counter
LaxativePrescription or OTC
Available as
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
Risk factors for serious side effects
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Age 60 or greater
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
  • Age 60 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have kidney disease and neuromuscular disease
  • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have neuromuscular disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Taking other magnesium-containing medicines or supplements
Detailed Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

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.

See the FDA package insert
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
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • 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.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Magnesium Citrate if you have kidney disease, are on a limited magnesium or sodium diet, have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Magnesium can build up in your blood if you have kidney problems. High magnesium levels can be dangerous and affect your heart, cause weakness and lower your calcium levels. Don't take Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have problems with your kidneys or are taking other magnesium-containing medicines. or supplements..
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
  • 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.
  • Really strong laxative that gets things moving fast.
  • Can also be used to prep your bowel before you go for surgery or colonoscopy. Your doctor will give you specific instructions if you use it this way.
Downsides and risks
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
  • 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.
  • It doesn't work for everyone and some people feel it's a hassle.
  • Some brands are of Magnesium Citrate are tinted red and can change the color of your stool.
  • Can cause dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Magnesium Citrate contains magnesium which prevents certain medicines from working properly. Make sure you take your dose of Magnesium Citrate at least 2 hours before or after other medicines.
  • You can't take it for more than a week or so.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DulcolaxMagnesium Citrate
  • 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.
  • Magnesium Citrate starts working in 30 minutes to 6 hours.
  • Works fast, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • The dose is different for adults and children so check the label and ask your doctor about giving to anyone younger than 6 years.
  • It tastes better if you chill the bottle before you take it. Make sure you drink 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other liquid after each dose.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Magnesium Citrate if you have kidney disease, are on a limited magnesium or sodium diet, have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Stop taking Magnesium Citrate and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly, rectal bleeding, or haven't had a bowel movement after taking.
  • For short-term use. Don't use it for more than one week.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Learn more
More about DulcolaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Magnesium CitrateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert