Can Docusate Sodium Raise Blood Pressure?

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A blood pressure meter sits in the foreground of a doctor's desk with the doctor writing a prescription in the background. (Image: megaflopp/iStock/Getty Images)

High blood pressure affects about one out of every three adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart and kidney disease. Sodium in the diet increases blood pressure. However, taking the stool softener docusate sodium does not increase blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure measures the force of the blood against your artery walls. It includes two measurements, the pressure when your heart is beating -- systolic pressure -- and the pressure when your heart is not beating -- diastolic pressure. High blood pressure is when the force of the blood is so high it weakens the vessels, increasing your risk of a stroke or heart attack. A high blood pressure is when your systolic pressure is 140 mm Hg or greater, and your diastolic pressure is 90 mm Hg or greater.

Sodium and Blood Pressure

Sodium is a mineral that helps maintain fluid balance in your body. However, when you consume too much sodium it causes your body to retain fluids, which in turn increases blood volume. This increase in blood volume increases the pressure on your artery walls, increasing blood pressure. Limiting your daily intake of sodium can help decrease your blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, or are over the age of 51, you should limit your intake of sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams a day. Everyone else should limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day.

Docusate Sodium

Docusate sodium, also known as colace, is a stool softener. It is used for the short-term relief of constipation, or to help ease bowel function for people who need to limit the amount of strain during defecation. It is also used to help evacuate the colon before a procedure and to help prevent hard and dry stools. Docusate sodium is not recommended as a treatment for fecal impaction, nor should it be taken for more than one week.

Docusate Sodium and Blood Pressure

While, chemically, docusate sodium contains the mineral known to raise blood pressure, it does not cause an increase in blood pressure, according to the website Drugs.com. But you should consult your doctor or physician if you are concerned about taking the medication. It is also important to note that heart palpitations are an adverse reaction related to the use of docusate sodium, as well as dizziness, fainting, abdominal pain, excessive bowel elimination and weakness.

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