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Topic Contents

Docusate

Drug Information

Docusate, which is available without a prescription, is used to treat constipation and is in a class of laxatives known as stool softeners.

Common brand names:

Colace, Dioctyn, Ex-Lax Stool Softener, DSS

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • Magnesium

    A woman and her newborn infant experienced low blood levels of magnesium, which was possibly due to chronic use of docusate throughout and after pregnancy.1 Controlled research is necessary to determine whether people taking docusate for long periods of time need to supplement magnesium.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Potassium

    Taking docusate increases the amount of potassium excreted from the body in the stool.2 Whether people taking docusate for long periods of time need to increase their intake of potassium is unknown.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • none

Explanation Required 

  • none

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Schindler AM. Isolated neonatal hypomagnesaemia associated with maternal overuse of stool softener. Lancet 1984;2:822 [letter].

2. Moriarty KJ, Kelly MJ, Beetham R, Clark ML. Studies on the mechanism of action of dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate in the human jejunum. Gut 1985;26:1008–13.

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