Dulcolax® Adult 5mg Gastro-resistant Tablets

  • Targeted relief
  • Overnight relief in 6-12 hours
  • Small, coated gastro-resistant tablets
  • Reliable action
  • Contains bisacodyl
  • 18+ years old

Dulcolax® Adult 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets work away while you sleep, in harmony with your body.

The small, easy to swallow tablets have a gastro-resistant coating, so they only work where they're needed, in the intestine.

Take at night in the comfort of your own home and, when you wake again (between 6-12 hours later), you'll feel able to poo. So, you can expect to feel good inside and out.

Available in packs of 8 and 20 tablets.

Larger packs of Dulcolax® Twelve Plus 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets are also available in 40 and 100 tablets from the pharmacy counter.

Benefits of Dulcolax® Adult 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets

Relieves symptoms of constipation

Stimulates the muscles of the colon and increases the water content, which helps soften the poo

Overnight relief (In 6-12 hours)

Gives relief within a predictable timeframe (6 - 12 hours)

Acts locally

Acts directly in the colon thanks to the gastro-resistant layers of the coated tablets

Works in harmony with your body

Predictable overnight relief in 6 - 12 hours

How does it work?

Dulcolax® Gastro-resistant Tablets have a 5 layer coating so it acts where it is needed - in the colon. After taking one dose, the active ingredient stimulates your natural bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours, helping you to go to the loo.

Use and dosage

Dulcolax® Adult 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets are best taken at night with a glass of water (swallow - don't chew). Don't take the tablet with other products that reduce the acidity of the upper gastrointestinal tract. This includes milk, antacids and proton pump inhibitors.

Should not be used in children or adolescents under the age of 18 years.

Adults aged 18+ years old:

  • 1 to 2 tablets before bedtime (it's recommended you start treatment with 1 tablet per day)

What's in the constipation relief tablets?


Bisacodyl has a dual action: it stimulates the smooth muscles of the intestinal walls and increases the water content, which helps soften poo. Thanks to its formula, the coating only dissolves at colon level, so it acts where it’s needed.

How does it work?

When you’ve swallowed the tablet, the stimulant laxative bisacodyl will speed up the movement of poo through the colon with its dual action. First, it helps to increase the water content in the stool.. This makes it softer and easier to pass. Second, it stimulates your bowel muscles, making your intestine contract. You can expect an effect within 6 to 12 hours. 2, 4.

The gastro-resistant coating of the tablets ensures the active ingredient is released exactly where it's needed: directly into your constipated colon.

Frequently asked questions

When we start talking about constipation, the same questions often come up. Here they are, along with the answers.

  • Dulcolax® Tablets contains bisacodyl which works overnight in 6-12 hours to stimulate the muscles in charge of bowel movements, to give your body a little nudge. It also carries water and salt into your gut.

    DulcoEase® Capsules contains docusate sodium and has a dual action effect to soften poo and gently promote a bowel movement.

  • The tablets can be taken by adult aged 18+.

  • Dulcolax Tablets should not be taken in pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice before taking Dulcolax during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • You shouldn’t take the constipation relief tablets on a continuous daily basis or for long periods without looking into the cause of your constipation. Prolonged excessive use may lead to fluid and electrolyte loss and potassium deficiency. Laxatives should be used for no more than 5 days, as infrequently as possible, (with a maximum of 2 taken per day). If you need to take them for longer, please ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

  • The recommended dose for adults aged 18+ is 1 – 2 tablets per day. It’s recommended you start treatment with a low dose (1 tablet). The dose may be adjusted up to 2 tablets to help you poo regularly.

  • The tablet should be taken (swallowed and not chewed) in the evening before you go to bed. You can expect to poo in the morning (it takes between 6 and 12 hours to act, depending on the person).

    The coated tablets should not be taken with products that reduce the acidity of the upper gastrointestinal tract. This includes milk, antacids and proton pump inhibitors.

  • Like every medication, there are some side effects, though not everybody experiences them. The most common side effects are abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

    If you experience any side effects, please stop taking the medicine and see your doctor straight away.

  • If you’re allergic to the active substance bisacodyl, or to any of the other ingredients in the product, you should not take Dulcolax® Adult 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets.

    Dulcolax® Adult 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets are not suitable for anyone who is intolerant to or cannot digest some sugars (as the tablet contains a small amount of lactose and sucrose).

    Also don't take Dulcolax® Adult 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets tablets if:

    • You are severely dehydrated
    • You have a bowel condition called “ileus” (blockage in the intestine)
    • You have a serious abdominal condition such as appendicitis
    • You have severe abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting
    • You have a blocked bowel (intestinal obstruction)
    • You have inflammation of the bowel (small or large intestine) subject to hereditary conditions incompatible with its active substance or any of the other ingredients.
  • You can download it by clicking here.

    Download the product leaflet

  • There are several types of laxatives – each works differently to help you poo.

    Stimulant laxatives

    Stimulant laxatives including bisacodyl, the active substance in Dulcolax®, have a dual action. They carry water and salt into the gut which hydrates the poo and makes it easier to pass. In addition, they stimulate the bowel muscles, causing your intestines to contract. Together, these two effects speed up the time it takes for poo to travel through the colon. Effectively, stimulating your bowel muscles helps get things moving.

    Stool softener laxatives

    Stool softeners are just that — products that help make hard, dry, painful poo softer. They work by softening the poo in the intestine, which makes it easier and more comfortable to pass. When used as directed, stool softeners are a safe, gentle way to keep things moving.


    Medicated suppositories are a typically reliable, fast-acting form of stimulant laxative that are inserted into the rectum. These suppositories, which may contain bisacodyl or glycerin, help move the poo out of the body by providing lubrication and stimulation. They stimulate the bowel muscles in the intestine to help encourage a bowel movement within minutes.

    Fibre supplements

    Fibre supplements add bulk to your poo. Bulky poos are softer and easier to pass. Fibre supplements are traditionally considered as a first treatment.

    Osmotic laxatives

    Osmotic or saline laxatives help poo move through the large intestine by drawing water from the rest of the body and into your bowel. This hydrates the poo and make it easier to pass. Saline laxatives can also help keep you regular.

  • Dulcolax® Adult 5 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets can be purchased in pharmacies and supermarkets, including LloydsPharmacy, Superdrug, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons, as well as at Amazon.co.uk.

  • Dulcolax® products, and any other laxatives, do not help with weight loss. They don't reduce the absorption of calories or nutrients. They can cause watery stools (diarrhoea), abdominal cramps and dehydration.

The Dulco® range

Dulco® products help get your digestive system moving. There are different types of relief available, including gradual relief, overnight relief and fast relief.

Stay in the know

Constipation can be annoyingly persistent. We know how frustrating and stressful it can be, so let's help you identify the causes of our constipation and how to prevent it.

    1. Sanofi data on file - Coated Tablets 2017

    2.  Kamm, M. A. et. al. Oral bisacodyl is effective and well-tolerated in patients with chronic constipation. Clin.Gastroenterol.Hepatol. 2011; 9(7):577-583.

    3.  Kienzle-Horn S, Vix JM, Schuijt C, Comparison of bisacodyl and sodium picosulfate in the treatment of chronic constipation. Curr Med Res Opin 2007;23:891-9

    4.  Bellini M, Gambaccini D, Usai-Satta P, De Bortoli N, Bertani L, Marchi S, Stasi C. Irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation: Fact and fiction. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Oct 28;21(40):11362-70.

    5.  Müller-Lissner SA, Kamm MA, Scarpignato C, Wald A. Myths and misconceptions about chronic constipation. Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;100(1):232-42.