Dulcolax Suppositories have a dual action to gently bring fast effective relief from constipation. By stimulating both the large intestine and rectum it may also help the bowel to return to normal regular function.
Adults and children over 10 year: One 10mg suppository to be inserted into the rectum in the morning, or as directed by your doctor.
Children under 10 years: consult your doctor.
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How do dulcolax suppositories work?
Dulcolax suppositories contain the active ingredient bisacodyl, which is a type of medicine called a stimulant laxative.
Bisacodyl works by stimulating the nerve endings in the walls of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. This causes the muscles in the intestinal wall to contract more often and with increased force. When these muscles contract (a process known as peristalsis), this moves the contents of the intestine through the colon to the rectum so that the bowel can be emptied. This relieves constipation.
Dulcolax suppositories melt in the rectum, releasing the bisacodyl to produce its effect on the wall of the colon and rectum.
Dulcolax suppositories start to work in about 15 to 30 minutes, so they are useful if you want fast relief from constipation. In addition they can be helpful for people who cannot swallow bisacodyl tablets.
Bisacodyl suppositories are also used to help empty the bowel before certain medical procedures. If this is the case, your doctor will ask you to take bisacodyl tablets the night before the procedure, as well as inserting a bisacodyl suppository the morning of the procedure.
What is it used for?
- Emptying the bowel prior to surgery or radiological examinations (on the advice of a doctor).
Dulcolax 10mg suppositories are suitable for adults and children over 10 years of age.
- You should not use this medicine if you have severe abdominal pain together with feeling sick and vomiting, as this could indicate that you have a more serious condition that needs investigating.
- Dulcolax suppositories are for rectal use only and must not be taken by mouth.
- You should not use this medicine on a continuous basis for more than five days. If you find you need to use a laxative every day you should consult your doctor so that the cause of your constipation can be investigated.
- Prolonged, excessive use of laxatives can lead to chronic diarrhoea, low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalaemia) and an imbalance in the amount of fluid and salts (electrolytes) in your body, particularly if you are also taking diuretic or steroid medicines. This can cause kidney problems, amongst others. Prolonged, excessive use may also make your constipation worse in the long-term, as your gut can become reliant on the laxative.
Not to be used in
- Blockage of the gut (intestinal obstruction or ileus).
- Acute attacks of inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
- Sudden abdominal conditions requiring surgery, such as appendicitis.
- Severe dehydration.
- Tear in the lining of the back passage (anal fissure).
- Ulceration and inflammation of the rectum (ulcerative proctitis).
- Children under 10 years of age (suppositories for children are available for use on medical advice - see the factsheet linked at the end of this page).
Dulcolax suppositories should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine is not known to be harmful if used during pregnancy. However, as with all medicines, you should seek medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant, particularly if you are in your first trimester. Other methods of relieving constipation may be more suitable for you.
- This medicine is not known to pass into breast milk, however the manufacturer recommends that it is not used by women who are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding you should seek medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine, as other methods of relieving constipation may be more suitable for you.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Abdominal pain or cramps.
- Rectal irritation.
- Allergic reactions (very rare).
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can dulcolax suppositories affect other medicines?
You should tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you use this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while using this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
Prolonged, excessive use of laxatives can lead to low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalaemia) and an imbalance in the amount of fluid and salts (electrolytes) in your body. This effect may be enhanced if you are also taking diuretic medicines, eg furosemide or bendroflumethiazide, or steroid medicines, eg prednisolone.