Fibernorm

Generic Name: polycarbophil (POL ee KAR boe fil)
Brand Name: Equalactin, Fiber Lax, FiberCon, Fiberlax, Fibernorm, Konsyl Fiber, Perdiem Fiber Caplet

What is Fibernorm (polycarbophil)?

Polycarbophil is a bulk-forming laxative that increases the amount of water in your stools to help make them softer and easier to pass.

Polycarbophil is used to treat constipation and to help maintain regular bowel movements.

Polycarbophil may also be used in some cases to treat diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome.

Polycarbophil may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Fibernorm (polycarbophil)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to polycarbophil or to mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, or povidone (such as Betadine).

Before using polycarbophil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have trouble swallowing, a blockage in your intestines, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, a history of bleeding from your rectum, or a sudden change in your bowel habits that has lasted for 2 weeks or longer.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Ask your doctor before taking polycarbophil if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

The polycarbophil tablet may expand in your throat and cause you to choke if you do not use enough liquid to help swallow the pill. Be sure to drink a full 8-ounce glass of water or other liquid while swallowing the regular tablet or after chewing the chewable tablet.

Polycarbophil is usually taken up to 4 times per day. Do not take more than recommended by your doctor or listed on the medicine label.

Polycarbophil should cause you to have a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours.

Do not take polycarbophil for longer than 7 days unless your doctor tells you to.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking Fibernorm (polycarbophil)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to polycarbophil or to mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, or povidone (such as Betadine).

Before using polycarbophil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • trouble swallowing;

  • a blockage in your intestines;

  • stomach pain with nausea or vomiting;

  • a history of bleeding from your rectum; or

  • a sudden change in your bowel habits that has lasted for 2 weeks or longer.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to take polycarbophil, or you may need a dose adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Ask your doctor before taking polycarbophil if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Some forms of polycarbophil may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this medication if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Do not give this medicine to a young child without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take Fibernorm (polycarbophil)?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with a full glass (8 ounces) of water or other liquid. The tablet may expand in your throat and cause you to choke if you do not use enough liquid to help swallow the pill. Unless you need to restrict your fluid intake, drink plenty of fluids each day while you are taking polycarbophil.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before your swallow it.

Older adults may be more likely to choke while taking this medication. Be sure to drink a full glass of water while swallowing the regular tablet, or after chewing the chewable tablet.

Polycarbophil is usually taken up to 4 times per day. Do not take more of this medicine than recommended by your doctor or printed on the medicine label.

Polycarbophil should cause you to have a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours. Call your doctor if your constipation does not improve after 3 days of taking this medication.

Do not take polycarbophil for longer than 7 days unless your doctor tells you to. Overuse of a laxative may cause damage to the nerves, muscles, or tissues in your intestines.

Store polycarbophil at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since polycarbophil is usually taken as needed, you will not be on a long-term dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication daily for up to 7 days, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of polycarbophil is not likely to produce life-threatening side effects.

What should I avoid while taking Fibernorm (polycarbophil)?

Avoid taking polycarbophil within 2 hours before or after you take any other medications. A laxative can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines.

Fibernorm (polycarbophil) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using polycarbophil and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • vomiting;

  • choking on the tablet;

  • trouble swallowing;

  • chest pain; or

  • rectal bleeding.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain;

  • bloating; or

  • gas.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Fibernorm (polycarbophil)?

There may be other drugs that can interact with polycarbophil. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about Fibernorm (polycarbophil)

Consumer resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about polycarbophil.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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