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What is docusate? Docusate is a stool softener that makes bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Docusate is used to relieve occasional constipation (irregularity). There are many brands and forms of docusate available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet. Docusate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Warnings You should not use docusate if you also use mineral oil, unless your doctor tells you to. Before taking this medicine You should not use docusate if you are allergic to it. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if docusate is safe to use if you have: stomach pain; nausea; vomiting; or a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts over 2 weeks. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. How should I use docusate? Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Drink plenty of liquids while you are using docusate. Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). Do not take the rectal enema by mouth. Rectal medicine is for use only in the rectum. Wash your hands before and after using the enema. To use the enema, lie on your left side with your left leg extended and your right leg slightly bent. Remove the cap from the applicator tip and gently insert the tip into your rectum. Slowly squeeze the bottle to empty the contents into the rectum. After using the enema, lie down on your left side for at least 30 minutes to allow the liquid to distribute throughout your intestines. Avoid using the bathroom, and hold in the enema at least 1 hour, or all night if possible. Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions. Docusate generally produces bowel movement in 12 to 72 hours. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 72 hours. You should not use docusate for longer than 1 week, unless your doctor tells you to. Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat. Do not freeze liquid medicine. What happens if I miss a dose? Since docusate is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time. What happens if I overdose? Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. What should I avoid while using docusate? Avoid using mineral oil, unless told to do so by a doctor. Docusate side effects Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using docusate and call your doctor at once if: you have rectal bleeding; no bowel movement occurs after using a laxative; you need to use a stool softener for more than 1 week; or rash occurs. Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is lactulose? Lactulose is used to treat chronic constipation. Lactulose is sometimes used to treat or prevent certain conditions of the brain that are caused by liver failure. These conditions can lead to confusion, problems with memory or thinking, behavior changes, tremors, feeling irritable, sleep problems, loss of coordination, and loss of consciousness. Lactulose may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Warnings Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies. Before taking this medicine You should not use lactulose if you are on a special diet low in galactose (milk sugar). Tell your doctor if you have ever had: diabetes; or if you need to have any type of intestinal test using a scope (such as a colonoscopy). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. How should I take lactulose? Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Mix lactulose powder with at least 4 ounces of water, milk, or fruit juice. Measure liquid medicine with the supplied measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). Lactulose should produce a bowel movement within 24 to 48 hours. If you use lactulose long-term, you may need frequent medical tests. Tell your doctor if you have a planned colonoscopy or proctoscopy procedure. Store tightly closed at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Avoid freezing. The liquid may turn darker in color, but this will not affect the medicine. Do not use the medicine if it becomes very dark or gets thicker or thinner in texture. What happens if I miss a dose? Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time. What happens if I overdose? Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, or symptoms of low blood potassium or low blood sodium (confusion, weakness, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling). What should I avoid while taking lactulose? Ask your doctor before taking any other laxative or an antacid, and take only the type your doctor recommends. Lactulose side effects Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using lactulose and call your doctor at once if you have severe or ongoing diarrhea. Common side effects may include: bloating, gas; stomach pain; diarrhea; or nausea, vomiting. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Lactulose dosing information Usual Adult Dose for Constipation -- Chronic: 15 mL orally once a day. Usual Adult Dose for Constipation -- Acute: Initial dose: 15 mL orally once a day. Therapy should be continued until normal bowel function resumes. Usual Adult Dose for Hepatic Encephalopathy: Initial dose: 30 mL orally 3 times a day or 300 mL in 700 mL water or normal saline as an enema retained for 30 to 60 minutes every 4 to 6 hours. Maintenance dose: 30 to 45 mL orally 3 times a day. Usual Pediatric Dose for Hepatic Encephalopathy: Infants: 1.7 to 6.7 g/day (2.5 to 10 mL) orally daily divided in 3 to 4 doses. Adjust dosage to produce 2 to 3 soft stools per day. Children: 26.7 to 60 g/day (40 to 90 mL) orally daily divided in 3 to 4 doses. Adjust dosage to produce 2 to 3 soft stools per day. Usual Pediatric Dose for Constipation -- Chronic: Children: 0.7 to 2 g/kg/day (1 to 3 mL/kg/day) orally in divided doses daily; generally recommended not to exceed the adult maximum of 40 g/day (60 mL/day). What other drugs will affect lactulose? Other drugs may affect lactulose, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.