26 Feb 2013

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses

Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine.

1.  Generic Name or Active Ingredient:


2.  Uses:

Available as tablets, suppositories and enemas for the treatment of constipation.

3.  How This Medicine Works:

      It increases the activity of the bowel muscles.

4.  Do Not Use This Medicine If:

  • You are allergic to bisacodyl or any other ingredients in this product.
  • You have abdominal or intestinal problems, severe dehydration, galactose intolerance, or fructose intolerance.
  • You cannot swallow without chewing.
  • The patient is younger than 6 years old.

5.  Before You Start To Use This Medicine:

  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other medications.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor is you suffer from an anal fissure (painful tear in the lining of the anus) or ulcerative proctitis (inflammation of the rectum [back passage])
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children.

6.    Using With Other Medication:

Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking any other medication, vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this medicine especially:

  • Diuretics (medicines which increases urine volume).
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Medicines which stimulate the heart, such as digoxin.

7.  How To Use This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

a)    How to use

   i.    Bisacodyl Tablet

  • Take this medicine by mouth without food for rapid effect.
  • Take with a full glass of water (240ml).
  • Swallow whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Do not take within 1 hour after taking an antacid medication or milk.

    ii.    Bisacodyl Suppository

  • Remove the suppository foil wrapper.
  • Moisten the suppository with water or a water-based lubricating jelly.
  • Lie on your left side and bend your right knee up towards your chest.
  • With your finger, gently insert the suppository into your rectum as far as it will go, tapered end first (children – ½-1 inch, adults – 1 inch).
  • You may feel the urge to force the suppository out again. This urge should pass once the suppository has melted which should only take a few minutes.
  • After lying still for 5 minutes, get up and wash your hands.

    iii.    Bisacodyl Enema

  • Shake well before using.
  • Lying on your left side, bend the right leg forward for balance or pull toward the chest.
  • Remove the protective covering from the applicator tip and put the applicator tip gently into the rectum.
  • With tip pointed toward your stomach, squeeze the bottle steadily to discharge the suspension.
  • For best results, try to keep the solution in as long as possible.
  • Wash hands well after use.

b)   When to use

  • As directed by your pharmacist or doctor.

c)    How long to use

  • Do not use for longer than 1 week without checking with your pharmacist or doctor.

d)   If you forget to use it

Use it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine. Do not double the dose.

8.  While Using This Medicine:

a)    Things you should do:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Consult your doctor if you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for 2 weeks or more.
  • Consult your doctor if you notice any rectal bleeding or failure to have a bowel movement within 12 hours after use of a laxative as it may be a sign of a serious condition.
  • Use this medicine with caution in the elderly, or children; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially excitement, agitation, or drowsiness.

b)   Things you must NOT do:

  • Do not exceed the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Do not take any other laxatives or stool softeners with bisacodyl unless directed by your doctor.

Overuse of laxatives can lead to a DEPENDENCE on laxatives to have a bowel movement. In severe overuse cases, some laxatives have caused damage to the intestines and bowel.

In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

9.  Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects which are severe or persistent.

      Possible side effects:
  • abdominal cramping
  • excessive diarrhoea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rectal burning
  • vertigo

10. Storage and Disposal:

  • Store at room temperature and in a dry place.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not use after the expiry date has passed.
  • Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.
  1. Website:
  2. Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0
  3. Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th edition
  4. Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities 2011
  5. British National Formulary Vol. 60