Co-danthrusate capsules and suspension contain two active ingredients, dantron and docusate sodium. This combination is known as co-danthrusate.
Dantron is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. It works by stimulating the nerve endings in the walls of the intestines. This causes the muscles in the intestinal wall to contract more often and with increased force. When these muscles contract they move the contents of the gut along the intestines, thereby relieving constipation.
Docusate sodium is known as a faecal softener. It helps water to be drawn into the faecal material, which increases the water content and volume of the stools, making them softer and easier to pass.
Co-danthrusate is usually only prescribed to treat constipation in people who are terminally ill. Constipation is one of the major side effects of strong opioid painkillers such as morphine, diamorphine and fentanyl, which are often needed to relieve the pain of conditions such as cancer.
It can take 6 to 12 hours for this medicine to produce its effect. The dose is taken at night to produce an effect the following morning.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Dantron has been shown to cause tumours in the liver and bowel of experimental animals (rats and mice) in clinical trials. These effects have not been shown in humans, but there is a theroetical risk of similar effects, which is why the medicine is usually reserved for people who are terminally ill.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medicine is not known to significantly affect other medicines. However, it is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.