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Post-It Pearls

Colace for Ear Cerumen

Lin, Michelle MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000616448.90453.3e
Post-It Pearls



The liquid stool softener docusate sodium (Colace) is an effective ceruminolytic. Fill the ear with the medication and allow it to soak for five to 10 minutes before attempting to irrigate out the ear wax.

Docusate sodium was compared with triethanolamine polypeptide (Cerumenex) in a small randomized trial, and was found to be more effective (81% v. 35%). (Ann Emerg Med. 2000;36[3]:228.)

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Dr. Linis the founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Academic Life in Emergency Medicine ( and a professor of emergency medicine at the University of California San Francisco with interests in health professions education and digital scholarship. Follow her on Instagram @MichelleLinMD and on Twitter @M_Lin.

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