Docusate (Stool Softener)

GI Drugs
  1. Ondansetron
  2. Sucralfate
  3. Docusate (Stool Softener)
  4. Bulk Forming Laxatives (Psyllium, Methylcellulose)
  5. Stimulant Laxatives (Senna, Bisacodyl)
  6. Bismuth Subsalicylate
  7. Antidiarrheals (Loperamide, Diphenoxylate-Atropine)
  8. Antacids
  9. Metoclopramide
  10. Misoprostol
  11. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
  12. Orlistat
  13. Octreotide


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Key Points

  • Stool Softeners
    • Also called surfactant laxatives
    • Key Drugs
      • Docusate
        • Docusate sodium (Colace)
        • Docusate calcium
    • Mechanism
      • Reduces surface tension of the stool to allow for water and fat to permeate and soften the stool, hence the name “stool softeners”
    • Clinical Use
      • Constipation
        • Often prescribed along with opioids, as opioids can cause constipation
      • Prevention of straining
        • Often prescribed post-abdominal surgery to prevent wound dehiscence associated with straining
        • May also be prescribed post-myocardial infarction, as preventing straining is thought to be helpful in reducing the workload of the heart
    • Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
      • Mild cramping
      • Bitter taste, throat irritation