Generic name: Docusate sodium.

Colace is an emollient laxative. It works by increasing the stool’s fluid content, promoting bowel evacuation.

Quick Facts About Colace


Used to soften stools, helpful for people who have had rectal surgery, those with heart problems, high blood pressure, or hernias, and women who have just had babies.

Colace Dosage

Take in a half glass of milk or fruit juice. Can also be added to infant formula. May use with a retention or flushing enema. For short-term use only.

  • Usual adult dose: 50 to 200 milligrams per day. In enemas — add 50 to 100 milligrams of Colace or 5 to 10 milliliters of Colace liquid to a retention or flushing enema, as prescribed.
  • Usual child dose: for children 12 years and older — same as adult dose. For children 6 to 12 years — 40 to 120 milligrams per day. For children 3 to 6 years— 20 to 60 milligrams per day. For children under 3 years — 10 to 40 milligrams.
  • Missed dose: take medication on an as-needed basis only.

Colace Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

none reported with normal use of Colace. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: bitter taste, throat irritation, nausea.

Less common Colace side effects: rash.


No Colace drug interactions reported.

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor before using this medication. Not known if Colace appears in breast milk.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children.

  • Usually takes 2 to 3 days to achieve laxative effect, in some cases 4 to 5 days.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Colace side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.