Uses and Administration
Bisacodyl is a diphenylmethane stimulant laxative used for the treatment of constipation and for bowel evacuation before investigational procedures or surgery. Its action is mainly in the large intestine and it is usually effective within 6 to 12 hours after oral administration, within 15 to 60 minutes after rectal administration by suppository, and within 5 to 20 minutes of administration by enema. Bisacodyl tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be taken within 1 hour of milk or antacids.
For constipation, bisacodyl is given in usual doses of 5 to 10 mg daily as enteric-coated tablets administered at night or 10 mg as a suppository or enema administered in the morning. Doses of 10 to 20 mg are given by mouth for complete bowel evacuation, followed by 10 mg as a suppository the next morning.
Children under 10 years of age may be given 5 mg rectally in the morning for constipation; those over 4 years may alternatively be given 5 mg by mouth at night. For bowel evacuation the dose is 5 mg by mouth the night before and 5 mg rectally the morning of the procedure. Children over 10 years of age may be given doses similar to those for adults.
A complex of bisacodyl with tannic acid (bisacodyl tannex) has been given with a barium sulfate enema before radiographic examination of the colon.