The common side effects of Colace stool softener include bitter taste and throat irritation, states Drugs.com. Bloating, gas, irritation around the rectum, diarrhea and cramping may also occur. Severe side effects are breathing difficulty, chest tightness, hives and swelling of the face, mouth, lips and tongue, notes Everyday Health.
Colace stool softener works by releasing fat and water into the stool mass to ease constipation, explains Everyday Health. Docusate sodium is the active ingredient, and it is sold over the counter as Col-rite, Colace, Correctol, Diocto, Silace and Surfak, among others. Aside from treating constipation, those with Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis can take Colace to prevent constipation.
When taken along with other drugs, Colace can distort the normal ways that the other drugs work. To reduce the chances of severe side effects, individuals should consult a doctor before taking Colace with any drug, advises Everyday Health. Individuals should take Colace along with fluids and consume a high-fiber diet that relieves constipation.
Individuals should not use Colace for a prolonged period of time unless directed by a doctor. As a precaution, Everyday Health advises against taking Colace for more than a week without the advice of a doctor. In case of an overdose, the victim should contact a doctor immediately.