Dulcolax, an over-the-counter laxative, causes a few minor side effects, including stomach cramps, dizziness, mild nausea and diarrhea. However, the use of Dulcolax can occasionally have more serious side effects, such as irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, decreased appetite and difficulty urinating, as reported by Everyday Health.
The mild side effects caused by Dulcolax are often short-lived and are gastrointestinal in nature. They include stomach pain, weakness, feeling light headed, nausea, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and dehydration. However, if any of these side effects are acutely painful or persist for a long period of time, it is advisable to seek immediate medical assistance. Dulcolax can also have more dangerous side effects, including uneven heartbeat, reduced urination, severe constipation, rectal bleeding, swelling, respiratory distress, and intense gastrointestinal discomfort. In very rare cases, Dulcolax can alter a person's mood and affect their memory, leading to confusion and disorientation, as stated by Everyday Health.
Dulcolax is never recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, notes Drugs.com. Dulcolax is also best avoided by those who are about to have abdominal surgery and people who suffer from eating disorders, chronic gastrointestinal disease and chronic heart disease. Abusing Dulcolax can lead to serious long-term gastrointestinal damage, often characterized by chronic diarrhea.