Consumer medicine information

BISALAX® enema


Consumer Medicine Information


This leaflet answers some common questions about BISALAX enemas. It does not replace the advice from your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

What BISALAX enemas are used for

BISALAX contains bisacodyl as the active ingredient. Bisacodyl is a stimulant laxative and is used to provide relief from constipation or to empty the large bowel before some medical procedures, operations or X-rays.

It acts on the wall of the large bowel, encouraging bowel movements by increasing muscle contractions which push the stool mass along.

Before using it

When you must not use BISALAX

BISALAX is not suitable for some patients. You should not use this medicine if you have:

  • had an allergic reaction to bisacodyl
  • stomach cramps, colic or stomach pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • blood in the stool
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • a condition of the intestine called ‘ileus’
  • acute abdominal conditions such as appendicitis
  • an intestinal obstruction
  • severe dehydration
  • low potassium levels in the blood
  • haemorrhoids, or inflammation in or around the back passage (rectum) or rectal ulcers.

Before you start to use it

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines or any foods, dyes or preservatives.

Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:

  • had any unusual or allergic reaction to laxatives
  • noticed a sudden change in bowel habits or bowel motions, that lasts longer than two weeks
  • missed a bowel motion for only a few days.

Use in children

Always ask your doctor or pharmacist before giving any medicines to children. BISALAX enemas may be used in children.

Use in pregnancy or breast feeding

BISALAX is not known to be harmful in pregnancy or while breast feeding.

However, if you are pregnant or breast feeding you should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist the risks and benefits involved, before using BISALAX.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines and BISALAX may interfere with each other. These include:

  • diuretics (water tablets)
  • corticosteroids
  • digoxin (medicine to treat heart problems)
  • some controlled release medicines

These medicines may be affected by BISALAX or may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine or you may need to take different medicines.

Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while using BISALAX.

Effect on driving or alertness

BISALAX does not cause drowsiness and has no known effect on the ability to drive or operate machinery.

How to use it

BISALAX enemas may be used on their own, or in combination with BISALAX tablets.

DOSE – Adults

Depending on the condition being treated, the entire contents of an enema should be inserted into the rectum either in the afternoon, evening or morning according to the dosage guidelines below or as instructed by your doctor.

DOSE – Children

BISALAX tablets are not recommended for use in children under 6 years.

Depending on the child’s age, either half or the entire contents of an enema should be inserted into the rectum either in the afternoon, evening or morning according to the dosage guidelines below or as instructed by your doctor.

Instructions for use:

  1. Take the enema out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before use.
  2. Shake the enema well.
  3. Take off the yellow cap from the top of the nozzle.
  4. If required, lubricate the tip with Vaseline.
  5. Lie on your left side with the left leg extended and the right leg bent, in preparation for administration of the enema.
  6. Carefully insert the applicator nozzle tip into the rectum, then press on the end of the plastic tube to squeeze the liquid out gently.
  7. Remain lying down for a couple of minutes before sitting or standing up.
  8. Discard the container after use, even if you have only used half the contents.
  9. Visit a toilet as soon as the need to pass a bowel motion occurs.

How long to use it

Follow your doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions on how long to use BISALAX.

BISALAX should be stopped as soon as normal bowel motions have been re-established. It may not be necessary to finish the whole pack of this medicine.

Under normal circumstances, it is recommended that any laxative should not be used for longer than one week unless directed by a doctor. Prolonged use of laxatives is undesirable and may lead to dependence and further reliance on the laxative to achieve a bowel motion. This can cause a continuing cycle of constipation.

However, some patients who are no longer able to perform normal bowel motions, may need to use BISALAX enemas on a regular basis for long periods of time.

What to expect

After using BISALAX enemas, a bowel motion should normally occur within 5-15 minutes.

If you forget to use it

If you miss a dose and if you still need to use this medicine, use it as soon as you remember.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using BISALAX.

BISALAX helps most people with constipation but they may have unwanted side effects in some people. All medicines have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach cramps, colic or pain
  • diarrhoea
  • irritation or pain around the anal area.

Tell your doctor straight away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • confusion
  • irritability
  • headache
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • muscle cramps
  • irregular heartbeat
  • breathing difficulties.

These symptoms may mean that your body has suffered a large potassium loss. This is a serious side effect. You may need urgent medical attention.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.

Do not be alarmed by this list of side effects. You may not experience any of them.

If you use too much (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice if you think that you or anyone else may have used too much BISALAX. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

Signs of overdose include nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhoea and dehydration.

After using it


Keep BISALAX in a safe place, out of the reach of children. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date printed on the packaging.

Store BISALAX enemas in the original packaging at a temperature of 2°C to 8°C (Refrigerate. Do not freeze). Before use, allow the enema to reach room temperature.


Ask your pharmacist what to do with any BISALAX you may have left over, if you no longer require them, or if you find it has passed the expiry date.

Product description

What it looks like

Yellow tube with yellow flip off cap which contains a white to grey viscous material. Available in packs of 25 enemas.


Active ingredient: Each enema contains 10 mg bisacodyl.

Inactive ingredients include citric acid monohydrate, macrogol 3000, macrogol 400, macrogol 4000 and sodium citrate.


Orion Pharma (Aus) Pty Limited
Level 24, Tower 3, 300 Barangaroo Avenue,
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Telephone: 1800 861 913

Australian registration number: AUST R 27900

This leaflet was revised in May 2022.

Published by MIMS January 2023