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Thread: Colace and long-term use

  1. #1

    Colace and long-term use

    Is it safe and or necessary to use Colace for the long-term?

    My teenage son was injured 15 months ago and was told to take two Colace a day as part of his bowel program.

    Is this necessary? He can sense when he has to go. Is it better to continue taking for years on end or focus on making sure he gets a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, veggies, a glass of Citrucel and plenty of water (I make sure he gets all this every day).

    I'm concerned that continued use of Colace will lead his bowel to become dependent on it.

    Also, as an L1 is it better for him to continue a bowel program at about the same time each day or let his body dictate when he needs to go? It seems like now he strains to get something out each night, when in fact he may not actually need to go at that point.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  2. #2
    Colace (DSS) has no long term ill-effects that we know of. It is not a stimulant. You cannot become "dependent" upon it. It is not absorbed from the gut into your body at all. All that Colace does it prevent too much water being absorbed from the stool, which helps to keep the stool soft. It is not necessary if you can keep the stool soft with diet and fluids only. This may not be possible though, depending on other medications that may be constipating, or limiting fluids due to cath schedules. We often give up to 1000 mg. daily.

    The point of doing bowel care at the same time every time is to develop both a physiologic habit and to avoid having accidents. If he has voluntary control and can "hold it" until he gets to a convenient bathroom during the day, and never has accidents, then a regular bowel program is probably not needed. If he has a reflex bowel, he may be able to go every other day rather than every day. Most people who have a flaccid or LMN bowel need to go at least daily. Otherwise, not doing a bowel program can lead to accidents and often social isolation for fear of being where a bathroom is not readily available.


  3. #3
    I know he has a neurogenic bowel and bladder or at least that's what it was classified as 15 months ago -- no one has checked his bowel since he was in the ER. He goes back to the urologist for the bladder in two weeks.

    Which doctor checks the bowel?

    He's only had one accident in the past year and that was because he had a stomach virus and extremely loose stools.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

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