Side effects of docusate sodium include diarrhea, stomach pain and cramping, and syrup or liquid forms may cause throat irritation, as confirmed by WebMD. In rare instances, rectal bleeding may occur.
Docusate sodium is a stool softener, and it is used to treat constipation. It increases the amount of water absorbed by the stool, making it softer and easier to pass, according to WebMD.
If any common side effects occur while taking docusate sodium, the individual should contact a pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible, as instructed by WebMD. Decreasing the dosage of the medication may provide relief if diarrhea occurs, but patients should only change their dosage under a doctor's advisory. In the unlikely case of a serious allergic reaction, the individual should seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms may include itching, swelling, rash, difficulty breathing and dizziness. Patients should not use this medication for more than one week at a time unless their doctor directs otherwise.
Individuals should consult a doctor or pharmacist before using docusate sodium if they are suffering from nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain or a noticeable change in bowel movements over a two-week period, according to WebMD. Pregnant women should only take docusate sodium if absolutely necessary, and women who are breast-feeding should take caution, as researchers do not know if the medication passes through breast milk, as of 2015. Medications containing phenolphthalein or mineral oil may interact with docusate sodium.