Bisacodyl is an over-the-counter drug that is part of several different brand name products. Bisacodyl is a laxative prescribed for a few different situations. Taking laxatives for reasons other than their prescribed reason may be dangerous and result in serious consequences. Avoid taking laxatives without the knowledge and advice of a physician.
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Bisacodyl may be taken in tablet form by mouth or rectally as a suppository or enema. If taking bisacodyl as a tablet, you will take it the night before you need a bowel movement. Tablets usually take about 6 to 8 hours to work. A suppository will be taken 15 to 60 minutes before a bowel movement, and a bisacodyl enema takes only 3 to 5 minutes.
Bisacodyl is generally prescribed as a treatment for constipation or to prepare for certain medical procedures. If you are having a surgery that requires your bowels to be empty or an X-ray using a barium enema, bisacodyl will be used to help get you ready.
Bisacodyl is not intended as a weight loss aid and should not be used as such. You will likely lose some weight as a result of using bisacodyl, but it will mostly be water weight that you will gain back. Laxative use will not cause you to lose fat, and laxative abuse can lead to many health problems and side effects.
Just because bisacodyl is available over the counter does not mean it is without side effects. Products containing bisacodyl can result in stomach cramping, diarrhea, intestinal pain, faintness, rectal bleeding, skin rash, mild nausea and increased thirst. Bisacodyl taken by suppository may cause a burning sensation in your rectum.
Abusing laxatives such as bisacodyl can cause your bowels to lose their natural ability to move. Your bowel movements can become dependent on laxatives. Avoid taking bisacodyl more than once per day or longer than one week. Swallow the tablets whole and do not chew them or crush them up.