Docusate (sodium=Colace; calcium=Surfak)


  • Laxative, stool softener


  • Anionic surfactant


  • Constipation associated with hard, dry stools

  • Stool softener in patients who should avoid straining during defecation

  • Cerumenolytic (non-FDA approved)


  • Obstruction, fecal impaction, nausea/vomiting

  • Acute abdominal pain, concomitant use of mineral oil


  • Pregnancy category C

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • EENT: throat irritation

  • GI: anorexia, bitter taste, cramps, diarrhea, nausea

  • SKIN: rash  


Administered orally (softgel capsule, syrup)

  • Adult:            

    • Laxative: PO 50-400mg daily in 1-4 divided doses

    • Cerumenolytic: Fill ear canal with liquid; produces substantial ear wax disintegration in 15 minutes, complete disintegration after 24 hours

  • Child <3 years: PO 10-40mg in 1-4 divided doses

  • Child 3-6 years: PO 20-60mg daily in 1-4 divided doses

  • Child 6-12 years: PO 40-150mg daily in 1-4 divided doses

Special consideration:

  • Drink plenty of water during administration

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