What is Dioctyl?
Dioctyl is a stool-softener that contains the active ingredient docusate sodium.
What is Dioctyl used for?
The treatment is used to alleviate constipation and symptoms related to hard stools. In addition to being an effective treatment for constipation, Dioctyl is also often used to make conditions that can be exacerbated by hard stools less painful, including haemorrhoids and anal fissures.
How does Dioctyl work?
Docusate sodium, the active ingredient in Dioctyl, is a type of laxative. It works in two ways. First, the treatment softens stools in the bowel by allowing more water and fat to pass through them. Softening stools is one of the best ways to help people with constipation pass bowel movements, and can make passing less painful for people with anal fissures and piles.
The second way docusate sodium works is by stimulating the nerve endings in the walls of the colon and rectum. When stimulated, the muscles in the bowel wall will contract more often and with increased force, which helps to move stools through the colon to the rectum so they can be passed. This dual action effectively relieves constipation without the need to strain, which can cause injuries to the rectal lining.
How long does it take for Dioctyl to work?
The medication works quite quickly after it is taken. Most people with constipation who take Dioctyl should be able to pass a bowel movement one to two days after starting the medication.
How should I take Dioctyl?
It is recommended that adults take up to five tablets (500mg) of Dioctyl a day to effectively relieve constipation, although you may need less. Each of the doses should be taken at regular intervals throughout the day. It’s important to remember that Dioctyl is supposed to provide short-term relief for people with constipation and conditions such as haemorrhoids and anal fissures. If after five days you’re still struggling to pass stool, you should see your GP for further assessment.
Who can’t take Dioctyl?
When taken on a short-term, occasional basis, Dioctyl is safe for most people who use it to alleviate constipation and pain caused by hard, dry stools. There isn’t enough evidence to confirm whether Dioctyl is safe for pregnant women, so if you are pregnant you should speak with your doctor before taking the medication. Dioctyl may also pass into breast milk, so should be used with caution during breastfeeding.
Dioctyl should not be taken by:
- Children under 12 years of age
- People who feel nauseous, or have vomited in the last 24 hours
- People with persistent stomach pain
- People with an intestinal obstruction
- People who are allergic to any of the ingredients in Dioctyl
What are the side effects of Dioctyl?
Dioctyl is usually well-tolerated by people who take it. However, they may experience mild side effects including:
- Abdominal cramps
- Skin rash
Please note: when taken excessively and for long periods of time, laxatives can lead to diarrhoea, fluid and electrolyte imbalances and low potassium levels in the body.This is why Dioctyl should only be used short-term.
How should I store Dioctyl?
Dioctyl should be stored in a dry, cool environment that does not exceed 25°C.
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
Important: We advise you to always read the patient information leaflet inside the medication box, as the generic medication may not always entirely match the patient information leaflet listed. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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Content last updated: 02 Feb 2023