PrescriptionGiant is a FREE prescription savings program that can save you up to 75% on your prescriptions with or without insurance!

Docusate calcium (Generic Stool Softeners)

Actual product appearance may differ slightly.

Click the CARD below to print or take a screenshot on your mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to download another app!

If you would like to personalize your card enter your full name in the member name field below the card at this link and click the Update button.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Docusate calcium is commonly prescribed as a stool softener to treat constipation. It works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making it softer and easier to pass. This medication is often used to alleviate constipation caused by various factors, such as certain medical conditions, changes in diet, or medication side effects.

How should this medicine be used?

Docusate calcium is a stool softener used to treat occasional constipation. It works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making it softer and easier to pass. Here’s a general guideline for its usage:

  • Dosage: Follow your doctor’s instructions or the directions on the product label carefully. Dosage may vary depending on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment.
  • Administration: Docusate calcium is usually taken by mouth with a full glass of water. It can be taken with or without food. If you are using a liquid form, be sure to measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon, as you may not get the correct dose.
  • Frequency: Typically, docusate calcium is taken once daily, but your doctor may adjust the frequency based on your response to treatment.
  • Duration: Use docusate calcium for as long as directed by your doctor or as indicated on the product label. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or use it for longer than prescribed without consulting your doctor.
  • Storage: Store docusate calcium at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep it out of the reach of children.
  • Follow-up: If your symptoms persist or worsen despite using docusate calcium, consult your doctor. It’s essential to address any underlying causes of constipation rather than relying solely on stool softeners for long-term relief.

Remember, while docusate calcium is generally safe and effective for short-term relief of constipation, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Other uses for this medicine

Some off-label uses of docusate calcium may include:

  • Prevention of fecal impaction: Docusate calcium may be used to help prevent fecal impaction, particularly in individuals at risk, such as those with mobility issues or chronic constipation.
  • Management of certain medical conditions: In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend docusate calcium as part of the management plan for conditions such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures to help ease bowel movements and reduce strain.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for using docusate calcium:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to docusate calcium or any other medications.
  • Medical history: Provide your doctor with your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of intestinal blockage, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or any other gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of using docusate calcium with your doctor. While it’s generally considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
  • Drug interactions: Inform your doctor about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking, as docusate calcium may interact with certain medications. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Fluid intake: Ensure you are adequately hydrating yourself while taking docusate calcium, as sufficient fluid intake is essential for its effectiveness.
  • Regular use: Docusate calcium is typically intended for short-term use. Prolonged or excessive use may lead to dependence on laxatives for bowel movements. If you find yourself relying on docusate calcium frequently for constipation relief, consult your doctor.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and the medication label carefully to ensure safe and effective use of docusate calcium. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • While taking Docusate calcium, it’s important to maintain a well-balanced diet with an adequate intake of fluids, particularly water.
  • Increasing your fiber intake through fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also help in relieving constipation.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration and worsen constipation.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of docusate calcium, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one. If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Docusate calcium, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:

  • Stomach discomfort: This may include cramping, abdominal pain, or nausea.
  • Diarrhea: Docusate calcium can sometimes lead to loose stools or diarrhea, particularly if taken in higher doses than recommended.
  • Electrolyte imbalance: In rare cases, prolonged use of docusate calcium may lead to electrolyte imbalances, such as low potassium levels, especially if diarrhea occurs.
  • Allergic reactions: While uncommon, allergic reactions to docusate calcium can occur. Symptoms may include rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Rectal bleeding: If you notice blood in your stool or experience rectal bleeding while using docusate calcium, stop taking it and consult your doctor promptly.
  • Dependency: Long-term or excessive use of docusate calcium can potentially lead to dependence on laxatives for bowel movements. It’s important to use docusate calcium as directed and not rely on it for extended periods without medical supervision.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions: Some individuals may experience hypersensitivity reactions, such as skin rash or hives, when taking docusate calcium.

If you experience any concerning or severe side effects while taking docusate calcium, it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider promptly. They can evaluate your symptoms and provide guidance on whether you should continue taking the medication. Additionally, if you have any questions or concerns about potential side effects, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of docusate calcium, here’s what you should know:

  • Storage: Store docusate calcium at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep it in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of expired or unused docusate calcium properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Check with your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility for the appropriate method of disposal.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek Medical Assistance: If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms such as extreme stomach pain, persistent diarrhea, vomiting, confusion, weakness, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your local poison control center or emergency room for guidance.
  • Do Not Delay Treatment: Time is critical in cases of overdose. Do not hesitate to seek help, even if you’re unsure whether it’s an emergency. It’s better to err on the side of caution.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow Instructions: Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the medication label. Do not exceed the recommended dosage unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
  • Regular Monitoring: If you’re using docusate calcium for an extended period, your doctor may recommend regular monitoring to assess its effectiveness and watch for any potential side effects or complications.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you’re taking, as docusate calcium may interact with certain medications. This includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Stay Hydrated: Ensure adequate fluid intake while using docusate calcium, as it works by increasing water content in the stool. Dehydration can worsen constipation and may increase the risk of side effects.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Along with taking medication, consider making lifestyle changes such as increasing fiber intake, staying physically active, and maintaining regular bowel habits to help manage constipation effectively.

By following these guidelines and staying informed about docusate calcium, you can use the medication safely and effectively to manage constipation. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Copyright © 2023