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Docusate Sodium is the generic name of a stool softener used to treat constipation - it is not a laxative. It is often very effective at treating constipation associated with multiple sclerosis. The dose needed varies from person to person and the doctor and patient often need to experiment to discover the effective daily amount. Docusate has a benign side-effect profile. Docusate softens the faeces by increasing secretion of water, sodium, and chloride into the gut.

Docusate is formulated under a large number of brand names including Dioctyl, Colace, Dialose, Diocto K, Dioeze, Disonate, Doxinate D-S-S, Duosol, Molatoc, Modane Soft, Pro-Sof, Regutol, Sulfalax Calcium and Surfak Liquigels.

Do not take this medicine if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting. Stool softeners should not be used if you have severe stomach pain and do not know the cause. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily while taking any laxative.

If you miss a dose take the missed dose as soon as possible. If you do not remember the missed dose until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Do not take mineral oil while you are taking stool softeners. Do not take stool softners within 2 hours before or after taking any other medicines.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.

Stool softeners usually work in 1 to 2 days, but for some people, results can take as long as 3 to 5 days.

Side effects include nausea, sore throat, skin rash. You should consult your doctor if you have any other side-effects from Docusate.

Frequent use can lead to electrolyte disturbance and can cause damage to the rectal mucosa. Incorrect use increases the risk of perforation of the rectum.

Docusate links:
Managing MS Symptoms - constipation
Yahoo Health - Medication or Drug - Docusate
Excite/WebMD: Constipation, Impaction, and Bowel Obstruction 

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