Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal



Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal
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Softens things up.

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Our bottom line

Colace (Docusate) takes longer to work that some alternatives, but it's a more comfortable way to relieve constipation.


  • 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.
People’s experience with Colace

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  • 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.
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.

People’s experience with Colace

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Dosage forms
  • Pill
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Side effect rates for Colace (docusate)

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These are side effects of Colace (docusate) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Colace (docusate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Age 60 or older
    • Taking medications that cause constipation
    • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)

    Don't use Colace (Docusate) for more than 1 week. Constipation is common in people who are on certain medications, aren't able to be active or can't move well, or don't drink enough water or other fluids. Older people are less sensitive to being thirsty, so they drink less, can get dehydrated and constipated. It’s always best to use Colace (Docusate) short-term. Better long term solutions may be stool softeners, bulk-forming fiber therapy, and osmotic medicines.

Common concerns from people taking Colace (docusate)

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  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • 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.