Today, almost every drug or medicine comes with its own side effects. Dulcolax is no different. Dulcolax is used for curing constipation and has bisacodyl as its active ingredient. The medicine is primarily available in the form of tables and suppositories. Sometimes the drug is also used to clean the intestines or bowels of a person who is to undergo surgery or examination of the bowel. The side effects of Dulcolax are allergic reactions, suppository side effects like pain and irritation, metabolic side effects like hypocalcemia, etc., nausea, dizziness and fainting, dehydration and low potassium levels in the body, diarrhea, and cramps. Other side effects are an irregular heartbeat, mental changes like confusion, increased urination and trouble in breathing. One must immediately contact a doctor if any of these side effects persist.
Allergic reactions – one of the most common side effects of Dulcolax
Allergy can be termed as a hypersensitivity disorder of the human immune system. Allergens are substances that cause an allergic reaction. The allergic reactions are rapid, predictable and acquired in nature.
Dulcolax can cause allergic reactions as a side effect. These allergic reactions may include irritation, itching, hives around the rectum area and rashes. People who use this medicine in the form of suppositories usually report these side effects. You can notice rectal bleeding in most rare cases when you use this medicine as a stool softener and should immediately report to the doctor if this condition appears.
Some people have also reported the occurrence of irritation in the stomach after taking Dulcolax orally. Those who are prescribed this laxative should take it in conjugation with dairy products as the combination can cause cramps, vomiting, nausea, cramps in the abdominal area and other GI disorders.
Side effects by suppository
A suppository is the drug delivery systems that are inserted into the rectum, urethra or vagina. The suppository then melts and dissolves to yield the desired drug benefits.
People who have medical conditions like ulcerative proctitis or rectal fissures might require some special monitoring while using the Dulcolax suppository. They should, therefore, discuss with the doctor about their condition and about the ways to safely use a dulcolax suppository. Some people have reported the side effects of Dulcolax, such as experiencing pain and irritation while using the suppository in the above-mentioned conditions. A doctor should be immediately contacted if a person experiences rectal bleeding while or after using the suppository.
Metabolic side effects
The enema preparation kits can cause the metabolic side effects as these kits can contain monobasic or dibasic sodium phosphate which can cause hypocalcemia (low calcium levels) and hypophosphatemia (low phosphorous levels). The anemas which do not contain these compounds are not to found to produce these metabolic side effects.
Metabolic side effects of Dulcolax also include the condition of hypomagnesemia. Hypomagnesemia is the condition in which the body has reduced levels of magnesium in the blood. The symptoms of hypomagnesemia are convulsions, fatigue, rapid eye movement, muscles weakness and cramps, and numbness.
The case of hypomagnesemia was found in a woman who took Dulcolax throughout her pregnancy period in a chronic manner. When she discontinued using Dulcolax, her magnesium levels returned to normal levels.
Low potassium levels and dehydration
The long term use of Dulcolax can result in low potassium levels and dehydration in the body. Excessive loss of fluid from the body can cause these conditions. The body loses some vital minerals along with fluids. This causes deficiency of certain minerals like potassium that are essentially required by the body to carry out certain body functions. This can adversely affect health in many ways.
The bowel functioning also gets dependent on the medication if it used for a long time period. Therefore, Dulcolax should be taken for more than a week only on the advice of a doctor. If there is no bowel movement even after using the medication for more than a week’s time period, then the doctor should be immediately contacted.
Nausea, dizziness, and faintness
Dulcolax can upset the stomach as a side effect. The patient might feel queasy or nauseous at the start, and later a need to vomit can also occur. This side effect is mild and not serious in many of the cases and disappears after a short interval of time.
Fainting and dizziness have been reported as a side effect of this drug by some users. The reasons for this could be the pain that occurs during constipation or the straining that can occur when the body produces the bowel movement process.
Other reason for the occurrence of fainting feeling can be the bowel stimulation caused by Dulcolax which can disrupt the normal body balance. For immediate relief, the person can lie or sit. A doctor should be immediately contacted if any of these effects are experienced.
The medical condition in which a person has three or more liquid or loose bowel movements in a single day is termed as diarrhea. Excessive loss of body fluids can result in dehydration and liquid imbalances.
Laxatives are used for restoring the normal functioning levels of bowels. Diarrhea and loose stools can occur with the use of Dulcolax as it relieves constipation by stimulating the muscles of the bowels. According to the National Institute Of Health, diarrhea is one of the most common side effects of Dulcolax. This side effect is not very serious and gets resolved by itself in a few days. One should see a doctor if diarrhea persists for a longer time period and is severe in nature.
Dulcolax can also give the side effect of muscle spasm or cramps in the abdomen. These cramps occur when the medicine acts to stimulate the muscle movement of the bowels. Diarrhea and constipation can also cause cramps. These cramps are temporary in nature and are not serious.
You should tell your doctor beforehand if you are allergic to Dulcolax. You can also tell the doctor which prescription, non-prescription and herbal drugs you are using. Or, you can give a detail of your medical history to the doctor especially in the conditions of appendicitis, rectum bleeding, sudden changes in bowel habit persisting for a period of more than two weeks and intestinal blockage. The medicine should also not be used for long periods during pregnancy and if you are pregnant, then you must consult your doctor before using Dulcolax.