MED REVIEW MONDAY
Diocytl sodium sulfosuccinate aka Docusate is a widely used stool softener. It is also known by brand names Colace or Ex-Lax. The drug has emulsifying/surfactant properties, allowing it to break up fats. It also works by inhibiting absorption and increasing secretion in the small intestine. It is prescribed to treat acute constipation. I have seen this as a standard order for all recently delivered maternity patients. It is also given to patients receiving opioids, as constipation is a side effect. When taken in oral form, it may take 1-3 days to see results as opposed to the suppository or enema forms which may take 5-20 minutes. Side effects include diarrhea or stomach cramps, and rarely rectal bleeding.
Alternatively, the drug is used as a pesticide and to irrigate earwax.
In the movie Girl, Interrupted Brittany Murphy’s character has an eating disorder and trades her meds with other patients for Colace in order to increase her intestine motility.