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Sodium picosulfate (stimulant laxative)

Uses|Precautions & warnings|Side effects|Interactions|Dosage
Sodium picosulfate (stimulant laxative)


Uses of sodium picosulfate

Sodium picosulfate is a drug commonly used to treat constipation. It is also used before certain surgeries or medical examinations.

Sodium picosulfate

How should I take sodium picosulfate?

This drug should be taken once a day at bedtime. Take this medication by mouth.

If sodium picosulfate has been prescribed to your child, follow carefully the instructions you are given, as your doctor will adjust the dose according to their age and needs.

Sodium picosulfate should only be used for a short time. This is because your bowel can start to rely on this type of laxative to make it work rather than working on its own. If you are still constipated after taking it for five days, you should inform your doctor.

Proper storage conditions

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and direct sunlight. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. Therefore, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush it down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, do not use it if expired. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using sodium picosulfate?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have severe pain in your tummy (abdomen) and feel sick
  • Recently had any bowel or abdominal surgery, or if you have been told you have an inflammatory bowel condition
  • Are dehydrated or taking diuretics
  • Are taking other medications
  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to any medication

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using sodium picosulfate during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking sodium picosulfate.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from sodium picosulfate?

Some side effects may occur when using this drug, such as:

  • Loose or watery stools (diarrhea)
  • Tummy cramps or discomfort, feeling dizzy
  • Feeling sick

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with sodium picosulfate?

Sodium picosulfate may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with sodium picosulfate?

Sodium picosulfate may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with sodium picosulfate?

Sodium picosulfate may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Do not take this drug if you have any of the following conditions:


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this drug.

What is the dose for an adult?


The dose for adults is 5-10 mg as a single dose, before bedtime.

Bowel evacuation before investigational procedures

Take a dose of 10 mg with magnesium citrate in the morning, and take an additional dose in the afternoon the day before the examination or surgery.

What is the dose for a child?

Constipation & bowel evacuation before investigational procedures

1 month to <4 years old: give a dose of 0.25 mg/kg at bedtime. Maximum dose of 5 mg.

4 to 10 years old: give a dose of 2.5 to 5 mg at bedtime.

10 years old: give 5-10 mg at bedtime.

How is sodium picosulfate available?

This drug is available in the following brand, dosage forms, and strengths:

  • Picoprep powder for oral solution, each sachet contains: 10mg of sodium picosulfate, 3.5g of magnesium oxide, and 12g of anhydrous citric acid.
  • Dulcolax SP syrup 5 mg/5 mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sodium picosulfate. https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/sodium%20picosulfate. Accessed July 7, 2020 Dulcolax SP Drops Product Information. https://gp2u.com.au/static/pdf/D/DULCOLAX_SP_DROPS-PI.pdf. Accessed July 7, 2020
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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jan 23, 2021