Generic Name: psyllium (SILL-i-um)
Brand Name: Metamucil
Psyllium is used for:
Treating occasional constipation and restoring regularity. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Psyllium is a fiber laxative. It works by absorbing water and swelling in the intestines. This helps the stool form the bulk necessary to be easily passed.
Do NOT use psyllium if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in psyllium
- you have appendicitis, difficulty swallowing, severe constipation, intestinal blockage, or undiagnosed rectal bleeding
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using psyllium:
Some medical conditions may interact with psyllium. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a sudden change in bowel habits persisting for more than 2 weeks
- if you have stomach or intestinal pain, nausea, or vomiting
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with psyllium. However, no specific interactions with psyllium are known at this time.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if psyllium may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use psyllium:
Use psyllium as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Psyllium may be taken with or without food.
- If your dose consists of more than 1 capsule, be sure to swallow only 1 capsule at a time.
- Take psyllium with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
- Do not take other oral medicines within 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking psyllium.
- If you miss a dose of psyllium, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use psyllium.
Important safety information:
- If your symptoms do not improve within 7 days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Do not take additional laxatives or stool softeners with psyllium unless directed by your doctor.
- Do not use psyllium if you experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or rectal bleeding, except under the direction of your doctor.
- If you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for 2 weeks or more, do not continue using psyllium. Instead, check with your doctor.
- Taking this product without enough liquid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking. Do not take this product if you have difficulty swallowing. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing or breathing after taking this product, seek immediate medical attention.
- Use of psyllium is not recommended in CHILDREN younger than 12 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking psyllium, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using psyllium during pregnancy. It is unknown if psyllium is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using psyllium, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of psyllium:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Abdominal fullness; minor bloating.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; difficulty swallowing; trouble breathing; vomiting.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of psyllium:
Store psyllium at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep psyllium out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about psyllium, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Psyllium is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take psyllium or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about psyllium. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to psyllium. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using psyllium.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More psyllium resources
- psyllium Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)