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Dulcolax: Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated on: November 22nd, 2021

Is Dulcolax available everywhere?

Yes. Dulcolax is available across the world, mainly in pharmacies. Thanks to its safety and reliability, it is a frequently requested and recommended product for constipation.

Is it wise to use Dulcolax every day?

No. Once Dulcolax has been used successfully, the intestine is completely empty. It takes 2-3 days for the intestine to fill sufficiently to stimulate evacuation naturally. It is not therefore wise to force evacuation on a daily basis. In medical terms, stool frequency of 3 times a day to 3 times a week is normal.


Has there ever been adverse events by using Dulcolax?

There might be cases of abdominal discomfort including cramps and abdominal pain. Sometimes diarrhoea has been observed.

Is it necessary to increase the recommended dose of Dulcolax?

No. Dulcolax is reliable in the generally recommended dose. This has been demonstrated by studies in paraplegics who used Dulcolax regularly (every 2 to 3 days) for 2 to 34 years.

Can Dulcolax be taken at the same time as contraceptives?

Yes. Dulcolax special comfort-coated tablets, pearls, suppositories or drops do not develop their digestant effect until they reach the large intestine. Unlike some other products, for instance laxatives that take effect in the small intestine such as Glauber’s salt, Epsom salt or caster oil, Dulcolax products are not known to impair the transport of “pill hormones” from the small intestine to the bloodstream.

Is Dulcolax suitable for losing weight?

No. Dulcolax is not a weight loss product.

Is Dulcolax addictive?

No. The active ingredients of Dulcolax products, Bisacodyl or Sodium Picosulphate do not penetrate the so-called blood-brain barrier and thus no addictive potential that could lead to dependence have been reported.


Has Dulcolax been investigated for carcinogenic potential?

Yes. In an effort to investigate the cancer risk and potential genomic damage, extensive tests with Bisacodyl were conducted under the supervision of the American health authorities (FDA) and Boehringer Ingelheim USA in 1999. The conclusion of the FDA in spring 2000: “From all the data available, there are no signs to suggest that Bisacodyl presents a cancer risk if used as instructed.” This data thus supports the allocation of Dulcolax to Group I of OTC products in the USA as safe and effective.

Are there differences in the quality of the pure substance Bisacodyl and Dulcolax?

Yes. It is known that the mode of action of a substance can be modified and optimised by pharmaceutical technology. Even drugs with the same content of active ingredient but processed differently when made into drugs (galenics) can show considerable differences in effect.

Dulcolax is the original. The active ingredient Bisacodyl stems from research at Boehringer Ingelheim.

Dulcolax is designed in such a way that the active ingredient is transported unchanged through the stomach and small intestine. Neither the gastric acid nor the juices in the small intestine can damage the substance. It only takes effect in the large intestine. This special design virtually avoids stimulation of the gastric or small intestinal muscles, absorption in the bloodstream, conversion of the substance in the liver and diarrhoea.


Is there a reason for women suffering from constipation much more often than men?

Yes. Women suffer from constipation three times more frequently than men do. This is connected with their sex hormones and uterus. Hormone researcher, Dr Johannes Huber, Professor at the University Teaching Hospital for Gynaecology in Vienna, explains why that is so: “Constipation is a sex-specific disorder due to a woman’s hormonal fluctuations!”

When the uterus expands during pregnancy, the organ is “immobilised” by hormones to avoid premature contractions. To this end, the body uses nitrogen monoxide, the formation of which is estrogen-dependent. This immobilisation of the uterus also affects the intestinal muscle, causing constipation.

Female hormones act in a similar fashion when the balance is disturbed during the second half of the cycle. Here again constipation is pre-programmed.

During the menopause the hormone progesterone immobilises the uterus. These natural changes and/or supply of artificial hormones to counter the effects of the menopause can frequently cause constipation in elderly women.

“Patients whose intestinal transit time is slowed down by hormonal disturbances,” explained Prof. Joachim F. Erckenbrecht, senior registrar for internal medicine and gastroenterology in Duesseldorf, “require treatment with medicines that stimulate the intestinal nervous system and hence transport functions”

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