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Thread: Docusate sodium efficacy

  1. #1

    Docusate sodium efficacy

    Some online sources suggest that there is little evidence that docusate sodium is helpful either for stool softening or to alleviate constipation, despite its being widely prescribed.

    See e.g,

    - "Things we do for no reason: prescribing docusate for constipation in hospitalized adults", Fakheri & Volpicelli, J. Hosp. Med. 2019 Feb. 14(2):110-113, available at https://www.journalofhospitalmedicin...-constipation;

    - "Dioctyl sulfosuccinate or docusate (calcium or sodium) for the prevention of management of constipation: a review of clinical effectiveness", Canadian Agency for Drugs & Technologies in Health, Rapid Response Report: Summary with Critical Appraisal (26 June 2014), available at https://www.cadth.ca/sites/default/f...rs%20Final.pdf

    Should SCI patients still take docusate sodium for management of constipation, and if so how much?

  2. #2
    well everyone is different
    what is your experience with the medication?
    the standard dose is decussate 100 mg twice daily
    pbr
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    My experience personally is that 200 mg has no effect although I am not sure. But I have seen posts that say much larger doses are needed. It is difficult to experiment with this since so many factors affect things like diet and overall health. That is why I was asking if there is specific literature or experience saying docusate sodium does work. And if no, what does for stool softener?
    Last edited by xsfxsf; 01-27-2020 at 04:20 AM.

  4. #4
    I agree. We rarely gave as little as 200 mg. of DSS daily, and often went up to 1000 mg. daily. We only used the 250 mg. capsules. It doesn't soften stool that is already hard, but it does prevent your colon from removing too much water from stool as it is forming, resulting in a softer stool. In addition, unlike many other stool softeners and osmotic laxatives, it does not interact with other medication absorption.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  5. #5
    It works for me. I know because while I was in a nursing home, they doubled my dosage of docusate sodium to treat my constipation. It didn't help, of course, since the only thing that would was a digital extraction of the hard stool plugging up the works. But no, the nurses said they weren't allowed, and instead kept feeding me docusate sodium like that would magically disappear the obstruction. Finally, when a family member extracted the hard stool, the rest poured out like fondue. I've never had such soft stool that wasn't diarrhea.

    So yeah, like KLD says, for me, it helps prevent constipation, but if you're constipated, it won't help much there. I normally take 300mg daily btw.

    I tried Benefiber after seeing recommendations here. I found it effective, perhaps too much so. I took less than the recommended dosage and it still made my stool too loose and caused me to have accidents. It completely overhauled my bowel habits for weeks. I have not touched it since.

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