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NURS 2516 Clinical Medications Worksheets (You will need to make additional copies of these forms) Generic Name

docusate sodium

Trade Name
Dulcolax Stool Softener


1 unit


Time/frequency qd PRN


2-15 min


For IV meds, compatibility with IV drips and /or solutions

Mechanism of action and indications (Why med ordered)

Promotes incorporation of water into stool, resulting in softer fecal mass, May also promote electrolyte and water secretion into the colon

Nursing Implications (what to focus on) Contraindications/warnings/interactions

Hypersensitivity, Abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting, especially when associated with fever or other signs of an acute abdomen, Excessive or prolonged use may lead to dependence,

Common side effects
mild cramps

Interactions with other patient drugs, OTC or herbal medicines (ask patient specifically)

Lab value alterations caused by medicine Be sure to teach the patient the following about this medication

Advise patients that laxatives should be used only for short-term therapy. Long-term therapy may cause electrolyte imbalance and dependence, Encourage patients to use other forms of bowel regulation, such as increasing bulk in the diet, increasing fluid intake (6-8 full glasses/day), and increasing mobility. Normal bowel habits are variable and may vary from 3 times/day to 3 times/wk, Instruct patients with cardiac disease to avoid straining during bowel movements (Valsalva maneuver), Advise patient not to use laxatives when abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or fever is present, Advise patient not to take docusate within 2 hr of other laxatives

Nursing Process- Assessment (Pre-administration assessment)
Assess for abdominal distention, presence of bowel sounds, and usual pattern of bowel function, Assess color, consistency, and amount of stool produced

Assessment Why would you hold or not give this med?
when abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or fever is present, when client not constipated

Evaluation Check after giving
A soft, formed bowel movement. Rectal dose forms produce results within 2-15 min