Docusate (pronounced /'d?kju?se?t/) is the generic name of a surfactant used as a laxative and stool softener Docusate is also any of a group of anionic surfactants widely used as emulsifying, wetting, and dispersing agents. Docusate is available in tablet, capsule, liquid, and rectal enema. Docusate calcium [USP] and docusate potassium [USP] are anionic surfactants used as stool softeners and are administered orally. Docusate sodium [USP] is an anionic surfactant used as a stool softener and is administered orally or rectally; as a tablet disintegrant or as an emulsifier and dispersant in topical preparations. When sold as Colace, it is docusate sodium, or sodium salt of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS). Some metabolism studies show that DSS is absorbed by the body from the gastrointestinal tract, undergoing extensive metabolism. In humans, the main way DSS metabolites are excreted is via the feces. Docusate sodium may be used in a daily regimen in persons who are undergoing narcotic pain medication therapy to reduce the effects of chronic constipation or hardened stools which can cause severe straining, impaction, and torn rectal tissues.