Rectal bisacodyl is used on a short-term basis to treat constipation. It also is used to empty the bowels before surgery and certain medical procedures. Bisacodyl is in a class of medications called stimulant laxatives. It works by increasing activity of the intestines to cause a bowel movement.
Rectal bisacodyl comes as a suppository and enema to use rectally. It is usually used at the time that a bowel movement is desired. The suppositories usually cause a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes and the enema within 5 to 20 minutes. Do not use bisacodyl more than once a day or for more than 1 week without talking to your doctor. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use rectal bisacodyl exactly as directed. Frequent or continued use of bisacodyl may make you dependent on laxatives and cause your bowels to lose their normal activity. If you do not have a regular bowel movement after using bisacodyl, do not use this medication again and talk to your doctor.
If using a bisacodyl suppository, follow these steps:
If using a bisacodyl enema, follow these steps:
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using rectal bisacodyl,
A regular diet and exercise program is important for regular bowel function. Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of liquids (eight glasses) each day as recommended by your doctor.
This medication is usually used as needed. If your doctor has told you to use rectal bisacodyl regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Rectal bisacodyl may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience this symptom, stop using bisacodyl and call your doctor immediately:
Rectal bisacodyl may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
If someone swallows rectal bisacodyl, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about rectal bisacodyl.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: November 15, 2016.