About Docusate:

It's a stool softener medication that is used in prevention of straining during defecation and constipation associated with hard, dry stools; relief of occasional constipation.

Docusate is used for:

  • Constipation.
  • Ear wax removal.



Docusate Mechanism of Action:

Docusate reduces surface tension of the oil-water interface of the stool resulting in enhanced incorporation of water and fat allowing for stool softening.

Dosing of Docusate:

Docusate is frequently used to treat constipation, and in painful anorectal conditions such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures, to help avoid pain caused by straining during bowel movements.

(ADULTS) Oral:

Docusate calcium: 240 mg once daily

Docusate sodium: 50 to 360 mg once daily or in divided doses

Rectal: 283 mg per 5 mL: 283 mg (1 enema) 1 to 3 times daily

Ceruminolytic (off-label use): Intra-aural: Administer 1 mL of docusate sodium in 2 mL syringes; if no clearance in 15 minutes, irrigate with 50 or 100 mL lukewarm normal saline.


Docusate sodium:


Manufacturer's labeling:

Children 2 years to <12 years: 50 to 150 mg/day in single or divided doses

Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: 50 to 360 mg/day in single or divided doses

Alternate dosing:

Weight-directed dosing: Infants and Children: 5 mg/kg/day in 1 to 4 divided doses (Nelson 1996)

Age-directed (fixed) dosing:

Infants ≥6 months and Children <2 years: 12.5 mg 3 times daily (NICE 2010)

Children ≥2 and Adolescents: 40 to 150 mg/day in 1 to 4 divided doses (Kliegman 2011); in children ≥12 years and adolescents, doses up to 500 mg/day divided may be used (NICE 2010)


Children 2 to <12 years:

100 mg/5 mL: 100 mg (1 unit) once daily

283 mg/5 mL: 283 mg (1 unit) once daily

Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: 283 mg/5mL: 283 mg (1 unit) 1 to 3 times daily

Docusate calcium: Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: 240 mg once daily

Doesn't require dose adjustment for renal patients.

Doesn't require dose adjustment for hepatic patients.

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