Generic Name: polycarbophil (POL ee KAR boe fil)
Brand Name: Equalactin, Fiber Lax, FiberCon, Fiberlax, Fibertab, Konsyl Fiber, ...show all 12 brand namesMitrolan, Fiber Laxative, Fibernorm, Polycarb, Fiberall Tablets, Perdiem Fiber Caplet
What is 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 for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about polycarbophil?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking polycarbophil?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to polycarbophil or to mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, or povidone (such as Betadine).
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
irritable bowel syndrome;
stomach pain with nausea or vomiting;
a blockage in your intestines;
a history of bleeding from your rectum;
a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts 2 weeks or longer; or
if you have been constipated for more than 1 week.
Ask your doctor before taking polycarbophil if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
This medicine may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before taking polycarbophil if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Do not give this medicine to a young child without the advice of a doctor.
How should I take polycarbophil?
Polycarbophil is usually taken 1 to 4 times per day. Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Overuse of a laxative may cause damage to the nerves, muscles, or tissues in your intestines.
Take this medicine with a full glass (8 ounces) of water or other liquid. Then drink one more glass of water.
The chewable tablet form of polycarbophil must be chewed before you swallow it. After chewing and swallowing the tablet, drink a full glass of water.
Taking polycarbophil without enough liquid may cause the tablet to swell in your throat and cause choking, especially in older adults.
Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain, vomiting, trouble swallowing, or trouble breathing after taking this medicine.
Drink plenty of fluids each day while you are taking polycarbophil.
You should have a bowel movement within 12 hours to 3 days.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 3 days of treatment.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since polycarbophil is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking polycarbophil?
Avoid taking polycarbophil within 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take any other medicines. A laxative can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines.
Polycarbophil side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach cramps, rectal bleeding; or
no bowel movement within 3 days after using polycarbophil.
Common side effects may include:
mild stomach pain;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect polycarbophil?
Other drugs may interact with polycarbophil, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
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