Docusate sodium is a stool softener medication used to treat occasional constipation, according to WebMD. Doctors often prescribe the medication to individuals who should avoid straining during a bowel movement, such as patients who have recently undergone surgery.
Docusate sodium causes the stool to absorb more water in the gut, which makes the stool easier to pass, explains WebMD. The effects of taking this medication are typically seen in one to three days. If diarrhea develops, patients should decrease the dosage or discontinue use. Docusate sodium should not be taken for more than one week unless directed by a medical professional.