Constipation is a common concern in today’s changing lifestyle. It mainly occurs due to poor eating habits, not drinking enough of water, and not emptying your bowels whenever there is a need to do so. Lack of proper exercise or any kind of movement, pregnancy, and the use of certain medications, which may include painkillers can all lead to constipation.
There are individuals who take laxatives even when there is no need to. Constipation is defined as going less frequently to the toilet and passing hard feces when you do go.
What is 230 Pill?
The 230 pill is a round yellow-colored pill with a "230" imprint on it. The ingredient that has been identified in this pill is bisacodyl in the strength of 5 mg. This medicine is manufactured by Major Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is said to belong to the laxatives class of drugs. It is distributed under the brand names Dulcolax and Correctol.
What is this medicine used for?
Bisacodyl is mostly used for the treatment of constipation, which includes bowel preparation or the cleansing of the colon prior to a procedure called colonoscopy. This medicine works by encouraging the muscles in the bowel to smoothly move the stools through the body. It would help you go to the toilet and pass stools without straining.
The tablet form of bisacodyl is said to take effect within 10-12 hours after intake. In the case of suppositories, it would take between 10 minutes to one hour to show its effect. However, most of the time, it would take effect just within 30 minutes of taking the medicine.
This medicine is also available without the need for a prescription. It can be purchased at local health stores or retail outlets. At times, doctors can also use this medicine to empty a patient's bowels before undergoing surgery and other medical procedures.
There are certain things that people should keep in mind before taking bisacodyl. They include:
There are individuals who are allergic to bisacodyl and some of its ingredients. Inform the doctor if you are allergic to any form of drugs or medications, foods, or other substances. Immediately seek medical attention if you experience the following signs and symptoms after taking bisacodyl:
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Inform the doctor if you also experience the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Bowel or intestinal obstruction
- Upset stomach
- Persistent vomiting
- A change in bowel habits for more than two weeks
- Swallowing problem
2. Other Medications Taken
To prevent drug interactions, inform the doctor if you have taken any of the following:
- Other prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medicine
- Dietary supplements
- Herbal supplements
Do not suddenly start, stop, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor's advice. Bisacodyl should not be used for more than one week unless the doctor specifically says otherwise.
3. Health Conditions
Before taking bisacodyl, inform the doctor if you have any of the following health conditions:
- Stomach pain
- Chronic constipation
- Bowel obstruction
- Ulcerative colitis
- Other types of bowel disease
During the course of treatment, avoid using other types of laxatives or stool softeners unless recommended by the doctor. Talk with your doctor in case you experience rectal bleeding or when there is still no bowel movement after taking this medication.
Avoid consuming any dairy products and foods that have magnesium or calcium content within one hour of taking this medicine. The reason is that these food items can destroy the protective coating of the medicine, which can lead to an increased risk of having an upset stomach.
Avoid taking antacids within one hour of taking this medicine.
4. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Let the doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to conceive. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified bisacodyl as pregnancy category B. This medicine should only be given when there is an established need during pregnancy.
Bisacodyl’s active metabolite is absorbed but not detected in human breast milk. Thus, this medicine can be taken by a breastfeeding mother without specific precautions.
This medicine should be exactly taken as directed by the doctor. You can also go through the information mentioned on the medicine label. Make sure to carefully follow all the instructions. Take this medicine with a glass full of water and swallow it as a whole. Do not crush or chew the medicine.
If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, when it is already time for the next dose, then do not take the missed dose and follow the normal dosing schedule. This medicine is usually recommended on an as-needed basis. Thus, it should not be taken too often to avoid overdosing or having unpleasant side effects.
You can take one to two 5 mg bisacodyl tablets with a glass of water. Remember that this medicine should not be taken with a glass of milk to prevent having an upset stomach. Since this medicine is known to take effect after 10-12 hours, it is ideal to take this medicine before going to bed.
As previously mentioned, take this medicine only for a short duration to avoid being dependent on this particular type of laxative. It is important to inform your doctor if you are still constipated even after five days of taking this medicine.
Store this medicine at room temperature and away from light, heat, and moisture. All medications should be stored in a safe place and away from a child's reach. Ask your doctor on how to properly dispose of unused or expired medicines.
Apart from taking this medicine, it is also important to bring about changes in your diet and include healthy food items. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and carry out regular exercises to improve bowel movements.
- This medicine should not be used longer than the recommended period.
- This medicine has the tendency to be habit-forming if taken for longer durations.
- The long-term use of this medicine can make the body become dependent on it when it comes to regular bowel movements. It can also lead to malnutrition, damage to the bowel, and cause problems with the amount of salt and water in the body.
- If constipation recurs after taking this medicine, then it is better to consult a doctor instead of taking this medicine all over again.
- If you do not have any bowel movement within a period of 12 hours of taking this medicine or if you experience rectal bleeding, then immediately consult a doctor. It can be a sign of a serious condition, which should not be ignored.
While taking this medicine, individuals may experience allergic reactions, which include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the lips, mouth, throat, or tongue
- Blisters on the skin
- Skin peeling
- Swollen or flushing skin
- Wheezing sound
- Chest pain or tightness
- Persistent coughing
The most common side effects, which may be experienced by individuals taking this medicine are stomach pain and stomach cramps. Its serious side effects, which would need immediate medical attention are:
The following are mild to moderate side effects, which do not need prompt medical attention unless they persist or worsen over a period of time:
- Itching in the rectal region
- Lower abdominal discomfort
- Discolored urine
- Swelling or burning sensations in the rectal region
This is not a complete list of bisacodyl side effects. If you experience other unusual symptoms, it is best to reach out to the doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Below is a list of medicines, which can lead to drug interactions if taken along with bisacodyl:
- Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole, esomeprazole, rabeprazole, and pantoprazole
- H2 blockers such as nizatidine, ranitidine, cimetidine, and famotidine
- Avoid taking any remedies for indigestion during the course of treatment. The main reason is that the tablets are known to contain a special type of protective coating on them, which tends to get affected by antacid preparations. If there is a need to take antacids for indigestion, then make sure to take it at least two hours before taking this medicine. You can also take it two hours after taking bisacodyl.
- To ensure smooth bowel movements, a healthy diet is of the utmost importance. Start a healthy diet, which contains fibrous food items such as cereals, whole grain bread, green leafy vegetables, bran, and fresh fruits.
- Apart from a healthy diet, make sure to drink a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water every day along with maintaining certain physical activities on a daily basis to maintain a healthy bowel function.
- Individuals who are easily constipated should stay away from sugary food items such as pastries, cake, chocolates, puddings, and other high-sugar foods.
- Individuals who experience diarrhea after taking bisacodyl should stop taking the medicine. It is better to consult a doctor since loose stools could also be due to the long-term use of bisacodyl.