IBS Tales Home > Treatment Reviews > IBS Medications > Dulcolax
Dulcolax is a stimulant laxative which contains bisacodyl in tablet form. A stimulant laxative means that it stimulates the muscles of the bowel wall to make them contract and so push food along faster. Dulcolax suppositories are also available, again containing bisacodyl. Dulcolax tablets are swallowed with water and the suppositories are inserted into the rectum. There is also a liquid form of Dulcolax available, plus a less common version which contains the active ingredient sodium picosulphate rather than bisacodyl.
Dulcolax side effects
The most common side effects of Dulcolax are abdominal pain or cramps, nausea, diarrhea and weakness.
REVIEWS OF DULCOLAX
Review by Jamie
I am so happy to see that I am not the only one who suffered miserably from using Dulcolax. I was diagnosed with IBS-C a year ago and have difficulty with having BMs. I finally caved and tried Dulcolax since changing my diet and taking other medications wasn't helping.
All I can say is oh my God! I was doubled over with severe sharp pain in my abdomen, under my ribs and the sides of my lower back. It felt like I was being stabbed and having my colon torn apart all at once. I was in tears and wanted to drive myself to the ER but was too embarrassed. Although I did have a BM I will never take Dulcolax again. Twenty-four hours later I am still in pain.
Review by Steve
I have been using sodium picosulphate by Ducolax for constipation. I use it every day at double the maximum recommended dose as my doctor says that is OK. It works very well indeed and better than anything else I have tried. It is gentle and doesn't give me cramps. I am certain that most people would get the relief they need at the normal dosage. I can highly recommend this product for people to try for constipation.
Review by Marie
I have had IBS and lactose intolerance since I was a teen. I am 35 now. My cramps have been so bad at times I would get nausea, chills and I would lose consciousness. I have been managing my issues for for several years now, but this year I have been struggling with constipation. I thought I would try Dulcolax and see if I could get some relief.
I honestly felt like I was going to die. I had nausea, chills and horrendous back and stomach pain. I was also having pain under my ribs, kind of in the center. I felt drained and barely produced a worthy BM.
Next time I am going to use something I found by accident. One night I ate about half a small bag of sugar-free Lifesavers. After that, my stomach started making all kinds of wild sounds. No stomach pain, more like gas. Then...it came...it was liquid, liquid, liquid and gas for about three hours.
Honestly, I was so cleaned out within a period of a few hours I had to take a tiny sip of liquid Imodium to stop it. It was a tedious three hours just from the jumping up and down to run to the bathroom, but I am going to try this next time, instead of Dulcolax.
Review by Deb
I also suffer with IBS. I am on vacation with a bout of constipation making me very bloated and uncomfortable so I chose Dulcolax specifically because of the 'gentle overnight relief'. I don't call three hours 'overnight', first of all. Just as everyone else telling their horrible story, I suffered all of the same nasty effects. But I also experienced a little more.
On my fourth run back to the toilet, what I thought was a release of diarrhea was actually all bright red blood...nothing else. It has happened three times now and I am quite concerned. After researching side effects, it could be due to a irritation of the lining of my intestines from such a harsh OTC medication, all the way to colon cancer.
I am still experiencing severe cramping 13 hours later. I wouldn't recommend Dulcolax to my worst enemy. If the cramping doesn't end by the 24-hour mark, I'm off to an unfamiliar ER where no doctor is familiar with my history. A side note: in the past I have used Women's Correctol which is as gentle as a laxative could be and the cramping left with the final relief.
Review by Chelsea
I noticed a lot of reviews of Dulcolax have said it is very painful and causes stomach cramps. Some people even say they went to the ER. That is how I felt when I took my first laxative. I am a stay-at-home mother of two. I have suffered from IBS-C for years and it just got worse after my pregnancies. And from my experience there isn't a single laxative out there that will keep you from having some kind of cramps and some kind of sweating and a little bit of pain. A laxative is something that is speeding up the process, getting things going basically.
I saw many people saying they took three pills at once. People who are used to it may handle it but if it's for medication-related or antibiotic-related constipation and you have never taken laxatives, I would take one or maybe two for your first time. Honestly, Dulcolax is way more gentle compared to some. And it worked so fast for me, I took two and I was so glad. It worked within six hours and that is a fast relief instead of waiting 12 hours and being in pain that way. I recommend Dulcolax fully. You may have some discomfort from laxatives but if you suffer from everyday constipation it is worth it.
Review by Lisa
I have IBS also, I have a hard time going and I have tried Dulcolax many times. After six days without having a bowel movement I take three pills and the next day is usually uneventful. Then the following night I take a couple more then usually go the following morning. I am sure my body is getting used to it as sometimes it doesn't even work the third day.
Review by Sara
It works. However, I take it with two full glasses of water which helps cut down on the cramping feeling. I still get cramps though. It's a laxative. If I am really, really constipated, it does its job really well. I only take one or two tablets though. I personally wouldn't take it with less than two glasses of water though and I usually take it at a time when I will be home for at least 12 hours.
Review by Jackie
I had to take four Dulcolax tabs as a part of a prep for a colonoscopy. I took them at bedtime and woke up at 3am with severe abdominal cramping, dizziness, profuse sweating and nausea. I collapsed on the kitchen floor and drank water until the pain passed. It was horrible. I thought of going to the ER the entire time but I am a nurse and stubborn so I waited it out. I will never take Dulcolax again. Even after four days I feel cramping and irregular.
Review by Trish
I started taking Dulcolax and became very addicted to it. I had the worst experience of my life. My medication stopped working and I suffer from anxiety and depression so it has thrown me for a loop. I'm still very constipated from my regular meds but here all along I thought my meds weren't working and I was getting sick again when it was the Dulcolax not working properly in me and depleting all the medication I was counting on in my body.
I feel this medication should be taken off the shelf to save people a lot of pain and heart ache not to mention bad stomach pains and nausea. It is not fair to people they are being robbed.
Review by Leslie
I am so glad I came across this site. I suffer from extreme constipation at times and I've had many products not work. I tried Dulcolax and thought I was going to die! I was driving when suddenly these sharp intense pains started in my upper abdomen and by the time I got home 20 minutes later I was drenched in sweat and barely able to walk up to my apartment. When I got through the door I made it to the bathroom and vomited and the sweat was dripping off my head. I laid down and about two hours later I got violent, violent diarrhea that lasted about three hours. I still feel sick and weak. Never again will I use this product!
Review by Jade
I suffer from IBS and migraines. A new migraine medicine has caused constipation so I thought I would try Dulcolax being as it's 'Gentle, yet effective'. Much like everyone else I thought I was dying. I took three pills as directed fairly early in the day. I had taken Dulcoease Pink prior to this and had no effect whatsoever. A few hours afterwards, it started with sharp stomach pains, then I began getting cold sweats, breathing irregularity, a shaking body...the works.
I attempted to go to find some relief many times with hardly any success if any at all. I laid on a heating pad with a fan on me and an icepack on my head to try to find some comfort. No prevail. I was up and down until 4:30am at which time I dozed off for a bit just to be woken by terrible stomach cramps this morning. It is now 1:00pm the following day and I am still having pretty rough cramping and discomfort. Never again will I take this, for any reason. It really should have a larger warning about the pain or at the very least remove the word 'gentle'.
Review by Miriya
So I had a large spaghetti dinner last night and instantly regretted it when my stomach couldn't take it. I have an intense, very real fear of vomiting and I had sweats, a white face and lots of wet burps. I became so constipated it was causing massive bloating. I ventured to Albertsons to talk to a pharmacist who recomended Dulcolax to relieve me and that it would be safe with my IBS and acid reflux.
I took two pills at midnight and woke up at 5am in extreme agony. Mind you, I was just in a head-on car collision resulting in flames scorching my throat and broken ribs...these cramps were more painful. It is now 12pm the next day and after all this pain there are no results. I'm still very constipated and I have even more nausea due to this medicine! Miralax is better! Sure it takes longer but it's definitely worth skipping the pain and getting actual results. (By the way I am 19 years old.)
Review by April
I am 35. I too suffer from IBS. I was taking senna for relief but it lost its effectiveness. I decided to try Dulcolax after diligently browsing an entire aisle. I took three tablets as directed at 6pm and by 8pm I literally thought I was dying due to the terrible abdominal pain. I was sweating profusely and very hot and then came the weak, numb all over feeling. When it finally relented I was shivering with cold. I wouldn't wish Dulcolax on my worst enemy.
Review by Beverly
When you suffer with constipation as much as I have all my life, this medicine is really a Godsend. I'm 24 and I have never taken a laxative in my life. However my constipation got so bad this last week that I couldn't sleep well or even concentrate clearly. I was so uncomfortable and crampy and gassy that despite warnings, I finally took three Dulcolax pills for the very first time around 10pm. I was desperate.
About six hours later at 4am I woke up with some nausea. Figuring it was the Dulcolax I went to the bathroom. I thought I was going to vomit, but didn't. Shortly after I went to the bathroom. What a relief it was! It was a huge BM and after that I had many more BMs for the next 12 hours. I have never felt so refreshed and clean inside. There was no cramping or pain for me, at least nothing as severe as the constipation problem I was having.
I can't believe how well this product worked. Dulcolax works. Maybe too well but that's what I was hoping to achieve. Dulcolax isn't something to take lightly, but if you are serious about relieving your constipation symptoms, take Dulcolax. It works wonders.
Review by Danielle
I am so glad I came across your site. I have struggled with IBS-C for a long time. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat - leafy greens, fiber - I cannot get relief. My doctor has told me to get my blood sugars under perfect control, exercise more and drink more water but it hasn't helped. I have been to the ER more times than I can count. Enemas, Restoralax, Benefiber, Metamucil, flax seeds, flax meal...nothing. That lemon citrus stuff I got at the hospital made me blow up like a beach ball!
Today I took Dulcolax for the first time (as Senokot doesn't do anything for me) after not having a bowel movement for seven days. It's a good thing I work at the hospital because that's where I ended up - the ER. I have never been in that much pain before. The cold sweats, dizziness and vomiting...I thought I must have really done some damage. I thought I was going to pass out and wake up missing some portion of an internal organ.
However, after leaving the ER and going back to work - I was feeling better after having my guts ripped out of both ends simultaneously - is when I came across your site. I am glad and grateful to know that I am not the only one with this experience, athough I do not wish it on anyone! Never ever again will I take this product. Seeing so many others having the same or similar side effects scares the hell outta me. Thanks again for showing me I am not alone in this battle.
Review by Vivian
The reviewer who likened Dulcolax to a kick in the head was being kind. I took two at 11:00pm. At 2:30am I was awake with the worst pain since I gave birth to twins without pain meds. The cramping was the worst pain I've ever had and the cold sweats were scary. Never again. Give me Miralax any time! It may be a little slower but you can triple the dose and it is still far gentler than this stuff. Stay away!
Review by Sarah
I've been suffering with bowel problems for almost a year now and after the dreaded colonoscopy and an MRI I still do not have a diagnosis. I'm pretty sure my symptoms all come down to IBS. The tablets I have been taking to control my bowel movements can make me very constipated so on a few occasions I have taken Dulcolax. I'm not going to pretend that all was fine - the cramps are worse than I've ever experienced and the tablets do take a while to kick in - but in my experience it's all worth it for the empty feeling when it's over. If you're good with pain I would recommend them but if not speak to your doctor and find something else that works for you. Good luck all.
Review by Kelly
I have relied on Dulcolax for many years to help me have a BM. I'm now 28, so my body should be used to it. I took two last night and I honestly thought I was dying at 5am. I had cold sweats, nausea, dynamite BM, cramp and burning over my top end but worst of all I passed out and found myself outside my mother's bedroom when I came to. I thought I was on the bathroom floor. Never again!
Review by Maureen
I am very appreciative of the many reviews here. I looked online to see if what I was feeling was normal. For me Dulcolax was a terrible experience which leads me to believe there is something else that needs to be checked out or the product didn't agree with me. I took one pill exactly as directed.
I do have IBS but it is under control with medication. I have been experiencing some abdominal pain which has gotten progressively worse. I do have some good days but the pain is still always there. My doctor sent me for pelvic and abdominal ultrasounds to see what was going on. She also suggested taking Dulcolax to make my BMs less stressful as they have become very painful. I told her I had tried Senokot before and that while it worked it did give me some cramping and gas. She said Dulcolax would be better.
I took one Dulcolax pill exactly as directed at about 11pm. At 6am I was awakened to go to the bathroom. After that all hell broke loose. I spent the next three hours with cramps that were like having food poisoning. I was expecting some cramping, which is normal, but this was really bad. I had chills, I had sweats, I had nausea - I didn't vomit but I had dry heaves. The BMs were still painful and stressful. The stools were soft but that wasn't my problem.
I slept from 10am to 11am even though I shouldn't have been tired, but I felt so weak. I still do, but I wanted to find out if what I was feeling was normal. After reading all the reviews I am glad that I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and she will have the results of the ultrasounds.
This product might not be suitable for some people with IBS; there might be some ingredients in it which people are intolerant to (but how do you know?). Having such a severe reaction might be a sign that something else is going on and needs to be checked out.
Review by S
I have just been diagnosed with IBS but my mother has suffered from it for many years. Today, after having just passed a kidney stone, I realized I had not gone to the bathroom in seven days. I think the pain medications really added to this fact. So I decided to try Dulcolax to help me.
All I can say is that I think having a kidney stone pass was less painful then this medicine. If I survive the cold sweats, cramping, pain, confusion and exhaustion, I will destroy the Dulcolax box and its contents. I do not think I have ever felt such pain from taking any one medication. I will be very careful the next time I decide to 'help' myself without my doctor's approval.
For anyone who cares, I took only one pill at 1:00pm. At around 3:00pm I felt my stomach cramping. Since then I have been sitting in the bathroom, in the bath, on the floor, on the bed, with an ice pack, with a heating pad...and nothing has helped. It is now 9:00pm. I am hoping I am able to just go to sleep and forget about this. This was terrible and I will never do it again.
Review by Laura
I am an IBS sufferer and for years I have been struggling with going to the loo. Then I found Dulcolax! Oh wow, it's the best thing since sliced bread if you ask me, it is the only thing on the market that provides relief for me without having a horrid taste. Sometimes there are some bad symptoms that go with the tablets but they are bearable. All in all a brilliant product!
Review by Louise
I have IBS-C and every so often I need a laxative to help things along. I took two Dulcolax last night and by 5am I was in the bathroom with the worst stomach pain ever, it's indescribable how horrendous it felt. I was shaking, sweating, nauseous and literally rocking in pain from these tablets for about an hour and half. The worst part is that nothing happened, no BM at all. I will never be taking these again. It sounds like I am exaggerating when I say I thought I was going to die, but I really thought I might have been having a bad reaction and would end up in hospital. Never again!
Review by Niki
I have suffered from IBS-C for years now. I have managed to get it mostly under control with the proper diet. However, around the time of my period and a week or two after, my IBS is horrendous. Dulcolax is a hit or miss drug for me. Sometimes it gives me relief with just minor cramps (compared to the ones I get from IBS). Other times I feel like someone is stabbing my lower abdomen with a thousand knives. Either way it usually gives me some sort of BM.
For the severe cramps I find that sitting cross-legged with a heating pad on my lower abdomen and gently rocking helps a lot! It also helps to keep your mind distracted. I usually put on the TV or watch something online. One thing is for sure...Dulcolax is a worst case scenario solution. Calling it 'gentle' is like calling a concussion a minor injury!
Review by Emma
I have suffered from IBS all my life. As a child I missed a lot of school and my parents didn't know what was wrong with me until I was diagnosed. The worst time was when I collapsed on a shopping trip. The doctor said I had IBS and that I was probably lactose intolerant.
I can control it a lot more now I'm older with diet, and the attacks have got less frequent. I use Dulcolax when I feel I am getting it as it helps to get rid of unwanted products that are giving me it in the first place. Dulcolax is OK but the stomach pain can be incredible. Sometimes I don't get it and then other times I'm doubled up until it works. I try not to use it unless I have to because of the pain. But it does work.
Review by Jamie
I've been reading all the bad reviews and the main points that concern people are the stomach cramps and the frequent trips to the bathroom. Well, let me tell you, as a person who has suffered with this my entire life and had to endure enemas since I was a little kid, and actually gets extreme nausea and stomach aches because of the constipation, a few stomach cramps from Dulcolax are nothing I can't endure. The point is, this works!
I had to skip work because of the stomach ache and extreme nausea. I took two Dulcolax pills at 1am and by 9am I was already feeling relief and the nausea and stomach ache were going away. Yes, this may be a last resort, but I'll take a few stomach cramps and trips to the bathroom over enemas and trips to the hospital any day of the week. This thing works, I recommend it. Keep hydrated at all times, it is a laxative after all. Best to all.
Review by Selwyn
I tried senna pods with no luck, then Dulcoease which was very good at clearing the blockage. I then took Dulcolax and it works for me. Brilliant.
Review by Juliet
On reading through the reviews of Dulcolax, I notice that it is always taken in tablet form. I am in my 80s and I have had IBS-C for at least 10 years. After considerable time spent at gastroenterologists' clinics it was eventually recommended that I take Dulcolax in the liquid form. This works for me. After three or so days of being bunged up I take one teaspoonful before going to bed. There is usally no response the following day so I take another dose before going to bed that night, and the next morning it's all moving - just a softened stool and some lower abdominal pain, but nothing that I can't cope with.
The liquid Dulcolax can be obtained from Boots in the UK, no prescription needed. I would recommend it to those folk who have had bad experiences with the tablets. I take a small bottle of it with me when traveling, which I do a lot, and I find that I can plan my days quite satisfactorily.
Review by Nicola
I too take Dulcolax. My God the pain is horrific. It feels like there's someone stabbing me, and I get sweats, nausea and a bloated feeling. Is this drug legal? It's unbelievably painful, and I feel the need to stop taking it but I suffer with constipation. Dulcolax needs to go!
Review by Rachel
So I too suffer from IBS (mildly). I had not had a bowel movement for five days so yesterday I decided to try Dulcolax. I bought it off the shelf from a Boots store, I took the recommended dose at the recommended time, and I ended up in such severe pain that my mum thought I should go the the accident and emergency department! When I arrived there the nurse took me in straight away with no questions (I think this is because she could see how much pain I was in).
The bottom line is that I would not recommend this product. I took one tablet at around 9pm last night as advised on the packet, but then at about 1am I was having severe stomach cramps, sweating hot and then shivering cold, crying in pain, and feeling nauseous. It was honestly the worst pain I have ever experienced in my entire life and I would not recommend this product to anyone, not even sufferers of IBS like me!
I will never again be taking Dulcolax! The whole night was so painful let alone the embarrassment of going to A and E after taking Dulcolax. I honestly cannot even begin to explain the pain I was in, it was horrendous, and the fact that on the packet it states gentle and effective relief is an absolute joke. Effective yes, gentle not in the slightest! I cannot believe they are selling this on the shelf.
Review by Mehta
This is the worst possible medication for constipation. The pharmacist at Boots recommended this and I really do feel like going back and demanding it be taken off the shelves! I am going to be writing to them. I took the tablet at 12am this morning and from 3am until now (it's nearly 5am) I have been in and out of the toilet with severe cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness to the point where I thought I was going to die! It may seem like I'm being extreme but I'm not! Dulcolax should be destroyed. I will never take it again.
Review by Hayley
I'm 15 and I've had IBS since I was a little kid. My doctor told me to use Miralax. I used it for half a year but I was unsatisfied because it didn't help at all. Then I tried Dulcolax. My doctor told me to use two pills. Mistake. I had the worst diarrhea in my life. However, if I take only one, it seems to help. But the downfall is that it takes a while to actually move through my system, so I still feel like crap (literally). I'm almost 16 and I am still looking for a product that actually works on me, because it is a little embarrassing at times. All in all, I would not recommend this item unless you don't have IBS.
Review by Rais
I have had constipation-predominant IBS since I was a kid. I took Dulcolax last night and I am never taking it again. The liquid gels are fantastic and give great relief, but the tablets gave me horrible stomach cramps and extreme diarrhea, the worst I've ever had ever in my life, I mean horrible! Do not use this unless you are about to go to the ER.
Review by Kali
I have IBS as well as chronic constipation due to medicine-related problems. I'm 23 and I have been hospitalized, given enemas every two hours by a nurse my age, drunk Miralax, given myself enemas, taken massive amounts of stool softeners and also used suppositories. Dulcolax is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I was taking anywhere from 15 to 20 stool softeners a day and I would maybe get two BMs a week if I was lucky, but I would still struggle. I had to take eight to 10 Exlax just to get a little relief. I take three Dulcolax and it works wonders. Yes there is cramping but when you're in pain and agony from not having a BM in a week it's way worth it. Best of luck to you all!
Review by Shelley
Well, this page is very interesting to read and I'm glad I found out I am not the only one who has problems with Dulcolax. It is the worst thing ever. I think there is something most definitely wrong with the product for so many people to have had the same symptoms. There are far more negative things said about this product than positive, so just think how many more people are out there who have had the same results as us but have not said anything. I too have IBS and it sucks!
Review by Emma
OK, so I too have IBS. Over the years I've tried a wide range of laxatives, but for some reason my usual medication has stopped being as powerful as usual. I was told about Dulcolax by a doctor and he highly rated the product, telling me how effective it was...all I can say is do not use this product!
Sweet mother of Jesus, I have never experienced such pains in my life. I hadn't been to the toilet in eight days and in the evening I took two Dulcolax laxative pills (as the product advises if you are constipated) and it resulted in the worst cramps I've ever experienced!
I took the pills at 10pm as I was going to bed and I was woken during the night several times by violent stomach cramps and extremely uncomfortable movement and gurgling inside my gut. At 3am I was woken up for the sixth time and decided to take myself to the lavatory and sit on the toilet until something happened. I felt extremely sick and dizzy, my body was shaking and my face grew ghost white!
I was sat on the toilet rocking myself in agony for a good 45 minutes until I had to force something out (a normal stool) before the diarrhea followed. An hour of sitting crying on the toilet, with a bucket held under my face to be sick in, is certainly not what you should have to go through for a bowel movement. At 18 years of age, being stripped naked because of hot sweats, vomiting, crying, being nursed by my mother and my boyfriend completely stripped me of my dignity. Do not put yourself or your children through this dosage of Dulcolax!
I can only describe the effects of this product as dynamite in your stomach with disappointing results. I can back my story up through seven family members who have also tried this product (they don't have IBS) and had the same symptoms. None of us will be purchasing it ever again!
Review by Sam
I am 15 and I have had IBS for a few years now. I tried normal laxatives and they didn't work. The doctor recommended lactulose, which used to work fine, but then for some unknown reason it stopped working. I had been in pain for about a week and because I have a low pain threshold I had to do something so I took one Dulcolax tablet. It worked within five minutes but it was extremely painful and so I would recommend this as a last resort. By the morning (I took it at night) it had worked and only a few stomach pains remained due to the extreme activity that happened.
Review by Heidi
I've been struggling with stomach sensitivity for about four years now, since right after a major surgery. My doctor has ruled out lactose intolerance and most recently a doctor at a walk-in clinic is fairly certain it is IBS.
This is the first time I've ever tried Dulcolax. I was prescribed the suppository as I was experiencing sharp stomach pains and bloating and felt like my bowels were blocked up. It took me four days to work up the courage to try it, and I am horrified. I took one suppository at 12:00am and it is now 3:00am and I am still having discomfort.
About 15 or 20 minutes after taking Dulcolax I felt an urgent need to urinate but was unable to. I did have a bowel movement but it was very painful and I thought I was going to vomit. I also experienced cold sweating and chills along with an elevated heart rate and a bit of dizziness. I have been unable to sleep since.
The doctor told me to 'take one before bed and in the morning you should have a smooth bowel movement'. This is not the case! I will never take this medication again, even though she directed me to take two, one again tomorrow, but there is no way I am doing this again. I'm glad I found this website as it has made me feel better about my symptoms, but I agree, this should not be available on the shelf!
Review by Jonny
I took some Imodium four days ago to clear up some diarrhea I had, which is common for me as I have IBS. I became constipated so took a Dulcolax on Wednesday night. It cleared the constipation but at an awful cost. It is now Friday morning and I am still being woken with diarrhea and very painful cramps. I would advise this as a final resort, its 'gentle' rating is comical.
Review by Vicki
I was diagnosed with IBS about 18 years ago. I also have cauda equina syndrome and have taken Senokot daily for the past 12 years. After increasing my dosage of Senokot from one to two tablets over a year ago and still obtaining diminished relief, I tried Dulcolax. It has been a Godsend.
I have always used only one tablet (except when I took 12 for a colonoscopy prep eight months ago - which also worked great!) and for almost a year took it in conjunction with two Senokot tablets daily. Now I get excellent relief from just one Dulcolax tablet whenever I need it. I often get slight cramping to advise of the upcoming bowel movement when my colon starts to work properly. Please don't ever take Dulcolax off the market. It is definitely a five-star product!
Review by Amy
Dulcolax is about as gentle as a kick in the head, but it is the only thing that gets the job done for me when nothing else works. I usually try a series of remedies when the constipation starts acting up (I've been dealing with this for many years). First water/coffee, and if that doesn't work then fiber/Metamucil, and if that doesn't work then I hit the Dulcolax (one tab, and if that doesn't work then I take two the next night).
It seems like I always end up reaching for the Dulcolax despite my first efforts. I really, really try to avoid taking two because of the horrible pain and nausea. One is a little easier on me, though still painful. I cannot imagine taking three and wonder about any doc who would prescribe that. Two pills is torture enough, but you know what? Being so blocked up you have to go to the ER is worse.
Review by Lisa
I noticed most people using this medicine were using the tablet form. I must agree that this is a powerful drug. Doctors prescribe it to their patients before performing colonoscopies. I used just the suppository after not having a bowel movement for one week. I left it in for about five minutes and then sat on the toilet. I had good results. I am seven days post-op from an abdominal hysterectomy and I started to get scared when water, fiber and all the natural methods were not working. For everyone who has problems with the drug use the suppository. It works well, and once the stool comes out it's done. No cramping and loose stools.
Review by Courtney
This pill is the worst thing I could have ever taken! I had major cramping, nausea, and bad diarrhea. After a few times I had mucus coming out. I never thought it was going to stop. I would not recommend this product to anyone!
Review by Stephanie
I am a healthy 20 year-old woman who does not have severe IBS, but for the past few weeks my symptoms having been bugging me, so I decided to take a Dulcolax. I only took one of these pills around 6:00pm before I started to feel very sick around 9:00pm. At first I thought I was just having acid reflux, so I took three Rolaids, and when that didn't work I thought I just had an empty stomach, so I ate a whole grain granola bar thinking that that would do the trick,,,boy was I ever wrong.
In less than 20 minutes I was having tremendous cramping/having an acidic or nausea feeling, even worse than before. I really began to panic, thinking that it was my appendix or something wrong with my intestines, and I was about to call my mom, who is a nurse, or drive to the hospital. Yet I didn't have time to even do that, since the major diarrhea episode came. I was in the bathroom for a 20-minute period and then I was in and out of the bathroom for a whole hour. It felt like a never-ending waterfall. I was getting really scared that I was going to start bleeding.
It is now 12:25am and I am starting to feel better. I just took one of those stupid pills and I felt like I was in hell. Hopefully, I won't get cold sweats, vomiting or anything else. I will never use this product again and I really feel they need to take this product off of the shelf.
Review by Melanie
I have suffered from extreme constipation IBS for 24 years and I have attempted every solution imaginable. When I say extreme, I mean I had a BM only twice a month usually. As I got older I began to feel ill until I had a BM and would resort to natural things like teas and colonics to get my bowels to work.
I went to the Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara a couple years ago when I was desperate for help and after many tests it was recommended that I have my entire colon removed. Unable to confront such a drastic solution I moved on to a new GI doctor at UCLA who ran many tests on me again. As usual, everything came back normal, and he diagnosed IBS again, with constipation due to a 'slow transit colon'.
He recommended that I try Dulcolax, and I was at first afraid to try a straight-up stimulant laxative because I had heard they are destructive to the bowels. My doctor told me that in fact I could take it the rest of my life without trouble. I wasn't sure if I believed that, but I gave it a try. To my surprise Dulcolax worked the very first night with only one pill. Occasionally when I don't feel emptied I will follow up the next night with two pills and this usually works.
One thing I discovered is that if I have had any dairy foods I will suffer from stomach pains or nausea in the middle of the night after I've taken Dulcolax. No dairy, no problem. I wonder if the other people on this site who have experienced extreme pain were big dairy eaters. I've since given up dairy entirely and this has helped my IBS a great deal. I couldn't live without Dulcolax.
Review by Kyle
I have tried many different remedies over the years, including Metamucil, Citrucel, Benefiber, magnesium, Miralax (which made me feel very gassy!) and Amitiza which made me feel nauseous. Plus, Amitiza did not help me at all! A few years back when I was in the ER for a different condition (a kidney stone - painful) the doctors saw that I was very constipated. I have had problems with constipation ever since I was a young child.
The doctor recommended Dulcolax. The first time I used it I do admit, it was a very strong laxative. I still think it is a strong laxative, but if it is used properly it can be quite effective. I have just come to the conclusion that I need it until Zelnorm comes out again! I take one every day or every other day to get results. I have tried Senokot in the past but it only causes bloating and cramps. It does not completely clean me out. Dulcolax just gives me the urge to go. I am a bit gassy sometimes after using it if I am really backed up, but I believe this is the best product for me!
Review by Lili
I am a 24 year-old female and I have dealt with constipation my whole life. I was diagnosed with IBS last year. I have tried everything from Fibercon to Metamucil to laxatives. Nothing gives me much relief. I go through good periods but then eventually I will begin to suffer again from constipation and abdominal cramping for days on end.
Yesterday I was fed up as it had been five days since I had a bowel movement. I decided to take one Dulcolax suppository. I had a bowel movement but it was not much at all. Later that night I decided to take another and what a mistake that was! I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst pain ever! My stomach hurt so badly and I did move my bowels but in the most painful way. It lasted about four or five hours on and off and to be honest, I still don't feel completely cleaned out.
This was an awful experience, and I was so scared that during the night I went online and came across this website. I read what others went through and felt a bit better about it, as I was beginning to think I should go to the ER! I wanted to share my story as well.
Review by Lili
The first time I took one Dulcolax pill I slept on my right side, and the morning after I felt like it had only worked on one side. After several hours I went to the restroom. The second night I took another single pill. I slept on my left side this time and when I woke up I had to go to the bathroom. I had minor cramping like the ones I get during my period. Other than that I slept well with no pain.
Review by Julie
I have suffered with IBS all my life. I was recently prescribed Dulcolax for a colonosopy, but it was ineffective. It gave me unpleasant bloating, cramping, nausea and dizziness but did not get things going. I will stick with my ground flaxseed in a large glass of water. I do this every day and I do not have constipation anymore, and the gas goes away when your body adjusts to it. Constipation for me is about lack of water, fiber and exercise.
Review by Aoife
I suffer from terrible IBS, and I can be constipated for over two weeks. I have tried taking four tablets of Senokot and yet there was no movement so I had to get Dulcolax. I take my two tablets at around seven in the evening. I go to bed around 12 and I get results in the early morning. Yes, I do wake up with a cramp to go to the toilet, but it gives me results, and I don't feel faint or sore all through the night when I am asleep. The small pain wakes me when it is time. I find it a brilliant product!
Review by Shannon
It is not gentle, and I can see it's not gentle for many people, not just me! I had a headache, nausea, bad cramps, breathing irregularity, and night sweating which was the worst symptom. Overall it was a flu-like feeling. It is worse than the condition itself. I thought that this was doctor recommended? I guess that should have been my clue. It needs to be revised big time. I will stick with the most natural way: diet and gentle exercise.
Review by Ann
I have IBS and right now I am in a pretty bad constipation phase. Dulcolax works great for me when I haven't had a BM in a few days. I take one pill before bed and I always have a BM after breakfast the next morning. I experience more gas after taking it but I assume it's because the medication is making my lazy bowel move. I don't have all the terrible cramping that others complain about.
Review by Melody
I took two Dulcolax last night before I went to bed and boy what a mistake. I thought I would have to call 911. I was so sick. I have had three babies, and this pain felt the exact same. It's terrible to spend hard-earned money to get pain and misery. I will never take this drug ever again.
Review by Eve
I tried Dulcolax last night and woke up around 4am thinking I was dying. While in excruciating pain I called the 'questions or concerns' number on the box. The woman said 'What you're feeling is not typical, go to the hospital'. But according to all of these reviews it is typical and I find it very unsafe that this product is still available over the counter - especially labeled as gentle. My experience was in no way gentle and I would discourage anyone from using this product.
Review by Becky
I tried taking two Dulcolax and nearly passed out as all the liquid in my body came shooting out at three in the morning and then every ten minutes for the rest of the night. The severe cramps felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach over and over and over again, my body went into a cold sweat, and I was unable to even stand up to get off the toilet.
The second time I took Dulcolax, months later when I'd forgotten the excruciating pain, I thought I could just take one, but I got the same results only with less severe but still agonizing pain, just not for as long. Dulcolax is a last resort.
Review by Michelle
This medication should not be over the counter! I had such a terrible reaction to this medication that I thought my husband may have to take me to the hospital. I took two tablets at midnight last night, at 2:00am, nothing, then at 5:00am I awoke to pain so severe I felt like I was in labor. Then came the vomiting, chills and sweats, and then rectal bleeding from straining just so I could try to get some relief from the pain.
I cannot believe the drug is on the market. I was so alarmed I called my doctor on a Sunday! It's been nearly 13 hours since that horrible experience began and I'm just now feeling better! (Advil helped with the cramping.)
Review by Leslie
Dulcolax hurts. Words can't describe the feeling but it does get the job done. I don't really know if it's worth it health-wise but I do get the clean sensation.
Review by Tori
This laxative is very effective, but I think it should be used with caution. This medication led to a violent BM. On the packet it says specifically 'If you have not used Dulcolax before, start with one tablet and increase to two if necessary'. This is not a subtle laxative. Other than that, once you are used to it, I have found it to be far more reliable than many other laxatives. I am almost guaranteed a BM in the morning when I have taken the recommended dose, and I haven't built up resistance to it unlike other products.
Review by Justin
I'm very glad I found this site since it has somewhat calmed my nerves. I took three 5mg Dulcolax tablets as recommended, and within a few hours my body was in absolute agony. 'Abdominal cramping' and 'stomach discomfort' are said to be expected, but that is a serious understatement. I was unable to get off the toilet at first, feeling like my entrails were hanging out of my body. I was actually locked in the position on the toilet in pain, with tears, snot, and drool pouring from my face. Then came the horrible stomach pain, which resulted in me throwing up the contents of my stomach and any subsequent liquid I took for the remainder of the day.
It is now the next morning and I awoke, only to get incredibly dizzy and fall flat on the floor. My stomach cramping seems to be getting a bit more manageable, but I still have pretty bad abdominal cramping and diarrhea. In summary, I seem to have had the same horrible, agonizing reaction as a lot of others have had. I tried Dulcolax for the first time because I saw the 'gentle, yet effective', and was hoping to not get the minor cramping from milk of magnesia...this was 10 times more painful.
Just for information, I want to add that I am an active and healthy (apart from the IBS) 22 year-old male, approximately six foot one, 170lb, and have had many pretty painful experiences in life, but this ranks very close to the top. It felt like what I always imagined drinking corrosive chemicals would feel like. Also, in response to an earlier poster, the vomit was exceptionally acidic, and burned my throat to the point I thought it might be swelling shut at one point.
Review by Kay
Dulcolax is a horrible medication. I suffer from chronic constipation and took three of these pills. The next day severe cramping hit me while shopping for groceries. I was nauseated, had a cold sweat, and it felt like knives were passing through my bowels! I was stuck in the bathroom because the pain was so intense I had to sit. This continued for hours before I finally had an unsatisfying BM. Dulcolax really should be pulled from the shelves.
Review by Shawna
After reading some of the negative reviews I must disagree on the benefits of using Dulcolax. I noticed that most people took three or four pills at a time and I wonder if that was the reason why they experienced cramping. I simply take one pill at 10pm and when I wake up the next morning I have a BM and it comes out smooth. There is no cramping and isn't strenuous on the body.
Review by Elizabeth
After a horrible night of nausea, cold sweats and pure hell, I typed into Google 'Dulcolax and nausea' to see if it was the Dulcolax that made me ill. Well sure enough, up popped this site. I can't believe that something so seemingly harmless could cause so much agony.
I took three tablets of Dulcolax because the previous day it had given me good results. Note: I have been taking Dulcolax for at least two months with moderate results. I am now completely convinced that it's the Dulcolax that made me sick last night though because I had the same horrible sickness a couple of months ago and wrote it off to bad food.
One other symptom I'm wondering if any others have is burning vomit? It was horrible and my throat is completely raw today, as if I vomited battery acid. I am believing though that this sickness seems to occur when I take three tablets. I have been sick twice and both times I took three tablets. Anyhow, the sickness is not worth the gamble. I am never taking any dosage of Dulcolax again ever! Thank you for your help and for this site!
Review by Tamsyn
I'm hardly ever constipated, but I have been constipated and crampy over the past week so I took three Dulcolax, which my pharmacist recommended, last night. Oh my God! What a horrific experience. I woke up at about 4am with the worst stomach pain of my life. I had bad nausea and felt icy cold and had sweat dripping everywhere.
After about an hour of thinking I was dying I eventually had a BM, then vomited bile for about 10 minutes, then had diarrhea. My stomach felt better quite quickly after that, but I was freezing cold for hours, and I still feel headachey and a bit spaced out. I think the product should be pulled off the shelf, or at least come with strong warnings.
Review by Heidi
I've suffered from chronic constipation my whole life, but for the past year it has got worse. I wasn't having a BM for two weeks at a time and let me tell you that was so uncomfortable. So I went to my chemist, who gave me Lactulose. It didn't work so I went back and was given Dulcolax, and I have to say that for the first week of taking it I got the same symptoms as people are describing here: painful cramps, sweating, feeling sick, running to the loo, but then in the second week it started working great. Now I just go naturally, no pain. It's the best thing I have ever taken.
Review by Keri
As with many IBS sufferers my bowel movements are unpredictable and often do not occur for days, giving me a general feeling of being backed up and leaving my stomach feeling bloated, hard and painful. Last week, after a seven-day stint without a BM, I decided to take two Dulcolax, the dosage recommended on the packet. Five hours later I awoke experiencing cold sweats and extreme nausea and bowel discomfort. I thought I was dying. For the next hour I was literally sitting on the toilet with the most horrendous diarrhea and had my head my head in a bucket, vomiting violently.
After an hour of draining my body, the cramps and nausea subsided but the diarrhea persisted the next day and I felt very light-headed and my stomach was tender and sore. Although I'd taken the laxative I honestly thought that a product claiming to give 'gentle' relief could not possibly be responsible for this, so I came to the conclusion that I must have eaten something really dodgy and the fact that I'd taken Dulcolax was just a coincidence. Wrong! I took a couple more last night and have just gone through the whole messy process again, this time with accompanying burning sensations in my stomach. It's 5am and I haven't slept. I've chucked out the packet and never want to see another Dulcolax again. Terrible product!
Review by Lee
This is a great product for severe constipation. Be aware that it is very strong and not for a weak stomach. Cramps come along with this, but if you haven't used the bathroom in almost a full week it's worth it. I really don't recommend this for a mild situation though.
Review by Amanda
I am only 20 years old and have been suffering from IBS with constipation for almost two years now. Nothing really seems to work. I used to drink the Citrucel chocolate fiber shake, and that really helped, but they took it off the market. All other fiber supplements give me unbearable gas pains.
I was backed up for days and finally decided that I would take a laxative before bed to have some quick relief. Worst idea ever! I took two tablets at 5pm and I woke up at 2am with the worst stomach pains I have ever had in my life, hands down. I was freezing/sweating, crying, and so nauseous I came close to vomiting several times. I only passed three small bowel movements and I still feel crampy and painful 24 hours after taking the medicine. This was the worst experience of my life and I will never take Dulcolax again!
Review by Lisa
After using Senokot for many years and eventually becoming immune, I tried Dulcolax as an alternative. It is not without symptoms and I do experience some cramps, however a BM is more or less guaranteed within 12 hours. Therefore, I find it very reliable.
I have tried quite a few brands of laxative and I've yet to find one that doesn't result in some kind of cramp. Working full time in a very demanding job at present I find Dulcolax a lifesaver! I do however worry about the long-term effects of taking any form of laxative.
Review by Mike
I have IBS with chronic constipation. The constipation can get pretty bad. When nothing else is working, I can always count on the results from three Dulcolax tablets taken at bedtime. I have a very thorough movement within an hour of waking up the next morning and then several more large movements throughout the day. Sometimes there are cramps, but most of the time it is pretty cramp-free until right before I move my bowels the first time.
Sometimes I use the suppository form if I can't take an oral laxative and need relief within about 30 minutes. They are really good when traveling, but they do cause some crampy, burning discomfort. This is a serious laxative, but it works more efficiently and comfortably for me than anything else.
Review by Tammie
I was getting a colonoscopy and part of the preparation was to take four Dulcolax tablets. So about four days before the procedure I took two in the hope of helping the cleaning out process. Oh my God I thought I was going to die, the cramps were horrible along with sweating and nausea and faintness. It scared me. I was sick the remainder of the day. My stomach ached and my bowels felt sore, and this was with only two pills and they want me to take four. I don't think so. This product is not gentle at all!
Review by Paul
Dulcolax pills are nasty and give me cramps, cold sweats and faintness, but the suppositories work quite well. I take two at a time and wait until the urge is very strong and get a really good clean out and a few minor but not too bad cramps. I really like the suppositories, they are just enough stronger than the glycerin ones to do a good job.
Review by Eric
Dulcolax is an insidious laxative. I was told to take four tablets because I am over 200lbs. It caused severe abdominal cramps and vomiting. I could not retain water or any liquid for that matter. Bowel movements were every 15 minutes for six hours, even though I had consumed nothing but water for the entirety of the day. A better solution would have been two tablespoons of Metamucil twice a day for two days, and a fleet enema the night before.
Review by Larissa
I ended up taking two Dulcolax tablets a day. I have tried Senokot but it has stopped working for me. I have been in absolute agony from the Dulcolax, I have had agonizing stomach pains for days. I did have a violent BM but then I started vomiting as well as having cold sweats, and I ended up in the emergency room on a drip. Yes it does clean you out but surely there must be some other medication you can take. I am feeling miserable from this drug but I am miserable without it as well if that makes sense.
Review by Jenna
I took four tablets as prescribed the night before a barium enema. At about 1am I woke up with severe stomach cramps. I went to the bathroom and was hit with the worst runs/nausea/cold sweat combo. I then threw up every 30 seconds for at least 15 minutes before curling up in a ball on the floor. Horrible experience...I would not recommend this drug to my worst enemy!
Review by Stephanie
I took one Dulcolax pill at night like the instructions say, and I woke up at 5am this morning with horrendous stomach cramps that persisted for five hours. I finally went to the toilet and began sweating all over my body, and I was dizzy and out of control as if I could have blacked out, it was really scary. I was moments away from going to the hospital, it was that bad. It relieved my constipation, but at an awful price. It is now noon and I still don't know if I'm going to have another wave of this misery.
Review by Felicia
Dulcolax is a terrible product. It is very scary and I have felt like death. I have taken dieter's tea before to go to the bathroom and thought those were bad, but this...I had to throw the box out because looking at it made me want to vomit. I cannot believe how often I've been to the bathroom and I have barely slept all night.
Review by Leigh
I used to use one Dulcolax pill on an occasional basis. Every time I'd wake up around 6am, have cramps, but ultimately clean out my system. Unfortunately, one time I got really dizzy, started sweating, and even blacked out while in the bathroom. I went to the ER and got an IV for dehydration. I will never again take this and I have since discussed alternative methods with my gastroenterologist such as Miralax.
Review by Catherine
I have had IBS for several years now, and luckily I have only suffered minor symptoms which are appeased by a healthy diet, exercise and a daily dose of aloe vera juice. This week however I had severe constipation and the pharmacist recommended that I try Dulcolax.
Last night, as directed by the instructions, I took four at around 10pm. By 5.30am this morning I was in agony with horrendous stomach cramps, sweats and a headache. Although it did the job of relieving constipation, it came with excruciating pain and the fear of not being able to leave the toilet, even now, six hours on! This product may be effective but it is definitely not gentle.
Review by Fiona
This product is a big no! It is not 'gentle yet effective'. I took the tablets around 12am right before I fell asleep, to wake up at 6am to horrible cramps and uncomfortable abdominal pain. Going in and out of the bathroom for the past 10 hours still did not stop this pain. I felt that there was nothing left to come out of me but yet I only felt safe at the toilet! If you are taking the pill right now and feel as if someone has taken your intestines and drained them you are not alone. I am way too afraid to take Dulcolax again or any other laxative. This caused me to take two sick days from work.
Review by Nancy
I have had IBS for as far back as I can remember, although it wasn't until about 15 years ago I realized what it was called. I had impactions pretty often, one time a serious one that sent me to the ER. Later I described my symptoms to my physician and the diagnosis was confirmed.
I developed a rectocele, and probably many of you know what that is like, and how that makes evacuation even more difficult and complicated. About a week and a half ago, I had to have a total hysterectomy, and I also asked the surgeon if he could repair the rectocele. He said this was not difficult and he would go ahead.
After surgery, I became very frightened when nothing happened for several days, since I hadn't had a BM without 'splinting' for many years and that was not an option now (especially because of internal stitches). I finally tried a Dulcolax suppository but it did not help (I should also emphasize I drank plenty of water and got plenty of fiber).
Finally the doctor sent me to the ER for an enema. I was so afraid that all the various stitches from the surgery would break open, but in fact it was a very ho-hum procedure and very helpful. Since then, I've used a Dulcolax suppository every day or every other day, and I also find it very helpful, since it still hurts to strain at all.
So, my experience is that Dulcolax is helpful for short-term use in some situations. Today I am looking up more info, because I know that long-term use is a bad idea. I think I'm going to need help for a while longer, and I'm wondering about switching to a saline enema.
Review by Candace
I'm 21 and I have been diagnosed with IBS-C. Before I was put on Zelnorm I was taking Dulcolax almost every day for my chronic constipation. I took three tablets (the maximum recommended dosage) every day for around three weeks and it didn't help at all. After five days of taking the Dulcolax I finally had a BM but it was not without straining. Dulcolax didn't work for me at all, but then again I do have a bad case of IBS-C.
Review by Isabel
I suffer from occasional constipation, which is usually relieved by drinking prune juice or senna tea (or taking Senokot tablets). But last week the constipation got worse than usual, so I decided to give Dulcolax a try. I took two tablets before bed and woke up at 6am with the worst stomach cramps I've ever had. I broke out in a hot sweat, barely made it to the bathroom and almost fainted from the cramps and nausea. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get up from the toilet. This is a terrible product and I'll never take it again!
Review by Shell
I have suffered from IBS with constipation for three years now and I am young. Nothing helped me, including the fibrous diet my doctor prescribed, so I started taking Dulcolax. I ended up getting dependent/addicted to it and it literally started to ruin my life. It gave me the worst stomach pains and cramps you can imagine. I fainted from them in class. They made me throw up, and the list goes on.
I finally realized that if I didn't do something I was going to pretty much die so I began Miralax and weaned myself off the Dulcolax and I felt so much better. Dulcolax did not help me!
Review by Lysa
I often get constipated - there are times when I don't have a bowel movement for five or more days. I take Dulcolax and I find relief in less than 24 hours (it cleans me out). This is a wonderful product.
Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried Dulcolax? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.