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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.



COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Carter's Little Pills, Dulcolax


This medication is used to treat constipation or to clean out the intestinal tract before bowel examinations or bowel surgery.

How To Use

Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water or juice. Do not crush or chew the tablets. The tablets should work within 6 to 10 hours. Do not take the tablets within one hour of taking any milk or dairy products. Severe stomach cramps and vomiting may occur. Bisacodyl should not be used longer than seven days without consulting your doctor. Prolonged use can lead to laxative dependence. Because this medication must be swallowed whole, do not give it to a child less than 6 years of age.

Side Effects

This medication may cause stomach ache, cramping, weakness, sweating, irritation of the rectal area, diarrhea, or dizziness. Notify your doctor if you experience: chest pain, fainting, rectal bleeding, lack of a bowel movement (especially after using this medicine). If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


If you have any of the following conditions, do not take bisacodyl without consulting your doctor: severe nausea, vomiting, stomach/intestinal problems, recent abdominal surgery, rectal bleeding, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, appendicitis, gastritis, an allergic reaction to this medication. Frequent use of laxatives can cause dehydration and loss of essential nutrients. Symptoms can include muscle cramps, muscle weakness or dizziness. Maintain adequate fluid intake while using this medication. Before using bisacodyl, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known if bisacodyl is excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: potassium supplements, antacids, acid blockers (e.g., cimetidine, famotidine, ranitidine), other laxatives. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include persistent diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, severe weakness, extreme thirst, or dry mouth.


To help prevent constipation, drink 4 to 6 glasses of water daily, eat dietary fiber and/or leafy substances and exercise regularly.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double the dose.


Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom.