Bisacodyl : Indication, Dosage, Side-effect


In this blog, we learn about Bisacodyl medicine which is used to treat constipation and available in oral medicine and suppository(give by rectum) medicine form. Bisacodyl marketed under brand names like dulcolax, gerbisa, muxol, fleet, etc.

bisacodyl laxative

Bisacodyl medicine which is laxative means it increases the intestine movement and helps to stool come out. It is typically prescribed for relief of episodic and chronic constipation. Its also useful for management of neurogenic bowel dysfunction, as well as part of bowel preparation before medical examination & surgery.

Bisacodyl is a derivative of triphenylmethane. Bisacodyl was first used as a laxative in 1953 because of its structural similarity to phenolphthalein.

This medicine is World Health Organization’s list of essential medicine. We learn this topic in below format Indication Dosage Side-effect Contraindication Brand names


  1. Constipation
    Bisacodyl is indicated in both episodic constipation or chronic constipation. Generally, it is given for short term basis. If patient having constipation on daily basis than ayurvedic or homeopathic laxative advised.
  2. Bowel evacuation
    On some examination purposes like colonoscopy or before surgery, bowel evacuation is needed. For that purpose also bisacodyl is indicated.

Bisacodyl is responsible for contact stimulant activity in colon. When stimulation occur to intestine, movements of intestine increases which helps to come out stool.



Oral medicine
5 to 15mg at bedtime. We can give upto 30mg if needed.
Per rectal medicine
10mg in morning in per rectal medicine form.

Oral medicine
5mg tablet at bedtime. Dose can be given upto 10mg if needed.
Per rectal medicine
less than 2 years age : 5mg
more than 2 years age : 5 to 10mg

Oral tablet : within 6 to 12 hours
per rectum : within 15-60 minutes



Contraindication means we should not give this medicine in certain conditions. It is more important than indication because it may create problem or medical emergency if we give medicine in that condition. That are as below

  1. Intestinal obstruction
  2. Undiagnosed abdominal symptoms



Each & every molecule which have effect, it has also side-effect. We can not deny adverse effect or side-effect. But it is not happen to everybody, it only occurs to someone who have sensitivity to particular molecule.

It is patient’s responsibility that they should bring sensitivity report with them if any, while consulting doctor.

If adverse effect occur, that may like as below.

  1. Abdominal discomfort/cramps/colic
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. gastric irritation
  4. dehydration
  5. low potassium level (hypokalaemia)
  6. If we give medicine per rectal route than adverse may occur like rectal inflammation/sloughing



There are few conditions, in which we have to take special precaution, that mention as below.

  1. Use cautiously in inflammatory bowel disease.
  2. Avoid prolonged use of this medicine.
    Patient advise to modify their life style, diet, more water intake which naturally treats constipation. If needed laxative on daily basis, than advise to take ayurvedic laxatives like Haritaki or else. Homeopathic laxatives also beneficial to many people.
  3. If we are giving suppository medicine means by rectal route than need to take precaution in rectal fissure, ulcerated haemorrhoids. Avoid suppository medicine in mentioned conditions.



This medicine is available in market as below brand names

  • Bidlax-5 made by GSK
  • Bo-lax made by cipla
  • Dulcolax made by german remedies
  • Gerbisa made by zydus cadila

This medicine is available in oral tablet & suppository form. It is available in 5mg & 10mg strength.


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