Dulcolax (bisacodyl) is sometimes used to relieve occasional and irregular constipation in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The over-the-counter stimulant laxative’s action is secondary to irritation of the intestinal mucosa, stimulating the bowel muscles to cause a bowel movement.
Constipation is the most common symptom of bowel dysfunction in people with MS. The disease can interrupt brain signals that communicate when it is time for a bowel movement. Managing constipation and establishing a bowel schedule should include a high-fiber diet (fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals), combined with high-fluid intake (6-8 glasses of water daily), while trying to maintain an active life. A range of laxatives are available for use, most of them are sold over-the-counter.
Although stimulant laxatives are popular, they can cause more side effects than other types of laxatives. Common side effects may include cramps, faintness, and stomach discomfort. They shouldn’t be used longer than seven days and should not be combined with other types of laxatives.
Bisacodyl tablets for constipation should be taken with a full glass of water by mouth up to 30 mg daily (5-15 mg is the usual dosage). Antacids and milk should be avoided. If a suppository is used, only one 10 mg suppository should be inserted into the rectum daily.
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