Dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate (DSS) is used as a laxative in man, with repeated oral doses producing few overt adverse effects. However, there is one report of jitteriness and low blood magnesium levels in a baby whose mother suffered diarrhoea while taking DSS throughout pregnancy and after delivery. Limited surveys on several hundred pregnant women failed to uncover any link between DSS and effects on the foetus. DSS has caused skin and eye irritation in man, and a few cases of skin sensitization have been reported. Severe skin and eye damage occurred in rabbits. In various species of laboratory animals, DSS was of moderate to low acute oral toxicity with high doses causing various effects including diarrhoea, central nervous system effects, and damage to the stomach and intestine linings, lungs, kidneys, adrenals and liver. In dogs, direct instillation into the windpipe caused lung effects. Repeated oral administration apparently produced no tissue damage in mature animals of various species; however, foetal toxicity and malformations were seen at maternally toxic dose levels in rats. There was no evidence of mutagenicity in Ames bacterial tests.

Date of Publication: 1989

Number of Pages: 11

CAS Number*: 577-11-7

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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