Dulcolax (Bisacodyl)

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Short-term relief from occasional constipation

Strength: 5mg

What is Dulcolax?

Dulcolax is a branded treatment for constipation and bowel irregularity that contains the active ingredient Bisacodyl, a stimulant laxative and stool-softener.

What is Dulcolax used for?

The treatment is used for the short term relief of occasional constipation, when other measures have failed. If experiencing constipation, the first recommendation is to try diet and lifestyle measures, such as increasing fluid and fibre intake and increasing physical activitity such as a daily walk or run. If this fails, a bulk-forming laxative such as Fybogel or an osmotic laxative such as Movicol or Laxido is recommended as first line treatment. Following this, if your bowel motions are soft but still difficult to pass, a stimulant laxative such as Dulcolax may be used for short- term relief.  

How does Dulcolax work?

Bisacodyl, the active ingredient in Dulcolax, is a dual-action laxative. Its primary function is to stimulate the nerves that line the walls of the colon in order to get them to contract. This process, known as peristalsis, then encourages stools to move through the colon and into the rectum, making them easier and quicker to pass.

In addition, Dulcolax also softens stools in the colon by encouraging more water and salt to move through them. This makes especially hard or dry stools easier to pass than they otherwise would be.

How long does Dulcolax take to work?

Dulcolax is among the quicker over-the-counter oral remedies for constipation. After taking one tablet, it should begin to work in 6 to 12 hours. However, it’s important to remember that many people don’t feel the effects of Dulcolax at first. In fact, a lot of people report not feeling anything for some time after taking it, before feeling a sudden urge to pass a bowel movement around eight hours in.

How should I take Dulcolax?

Dulcolax tends to take effect at least six hours after it is taken, therefore it’s recommended that one tablet be taken with water just before you go to bed. This is so that the medication will have begun to work upon waking up, increasing the likelihood you’ll be able to pass stool in the morning.

You can take Dulcolax with or without a meal. However, you must not drink milk, use indigestion remedies or take acid reflux medication at the same time you take Dulcolax. This is because it will cause the Dulcolax to not work properly. Leave a one hour gap between taking Dulcolax and these things. 

Who can’t take Dulcolax?

As an over-the-counter treatment, Dulcolax is usually very safe for adults suffering from occasional or chronic constipation. However, it’s important to remember that Dulcolax is not suitable for everyone. In particular, you must tell your GP or pharmacist before taking Dulcolax if you have:

  • Signs of dehydration
  • Been sick or you feel sick
  • Severe stomach pain
  • A serious stomach-related illness, such as a blockage in your bowel, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, Crohn's disease or muscle weakness in your bowel that stops it moving liquid and food properly
  • An intolerance to certain sugars (the tablets contain small amounts of lactose and sucrose)

What are the side effects of Dulcolax?

Some people who take Dulcolax will experience side effects. These are, however, usually mild. They include:

  • Feeling sick
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain or cramps

Rarely, Dulcolax can cause more serious side effects. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the following after taking Dulcolax:

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Bloody stools
  • Being sick

Does Dulcolax help with weight loss?

Stimulant laxatives such as Dulcolax do not aid weight loss and should not be used for this purpose. For further information about how to manage your weight safely, you should consult your GP. 

How should I store Dulcolax?

Dulcolax should be stored in a dry, cool environment that does not exceed 25°C.

 Information Leaflet

Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) Reviews

9.4/ 10
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Based on 19 independent customer reviews taken by Feefo (see all Feefo Reviews), Google and Trustpilot (see all Trustpilot Reviews).

(read on Feefo)
"Reliable service."

Product Review:

"Does what it's designed to do."

Service Review:

"Ist class service."

(read on Feefo)
"Good experience"

Product Review:

"Easy to use. Will defo order again."

Service Review:

"Excellent. Easy to navigate the website. Delivery was rapid and discrete."

"Excellent range of products"

Product Review:

"Does what is says on he box :-)"

Service Review:

"Excellent range of products. Very fast despatch. One very happy customer. Thank you"

(read on Feefo)
"First class service"

Product Review:

"Arrived on time, as always."

Service Review:

"5 fab stars"

(read on Feefo)

Product Review:

"Works well and helped my symptoms"

Service Review:

"Excellent service"

"Good service"

Product Review:

"Great product. Always use for when I'm feeling problematic with my bowel. Only use when I'm really struggling not every day/week. "

Service Review:

"Good service. Very quick delivery. Will always use as it's difficult getting to a local chemist or GP when I need something these days. Highly recommend."

(read on Feefo)

Product Review:

"easy to swallow no complications or side effects"

Service Review:

"The site was easy to use and delivery was excellent would certainly recommend to friends"

"Excellent product"

Product Review:

"Amazing product works around the 10 hour mark for me. Brilliant service and delivery!"

Service Review:

"Excellent product! Works wonders! Normally it kicks in around 10 hours after I've taken it but it will vary person to person."

(read on Feefo)

Product Review:

"Always fast an good.Very good site"

Service Review:

"Nice and fast.Recomended😊"

(read on Feefo)
"Fast delivery! Got exactly what I needed no fuss or hassle! Would recommend"

Product Review:

"Works fast and does the job!"

Service Review:

"Fast and efficient!"

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