Generic Name: methylcellulose (METH il SEL yoo los)
Brand Name: Citrucel
What is Citrucel (methylcellulose)?
Methylcellulose is a bulk-forming laxative that increases the amount of water in your stools to help make them softer and easier to pass.
Methylcellulose is used to treat constipation and to help maintain regular bowel movements.
Methylcellulose may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Citrucel (methylcellulose)?
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 healthcare provider before taking Citrucel (methylcellulose)?
You should not take methylcellulose if you are allergic to it.
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 sudden change in bowel habits that lasts 2 weeks or longer; or
if you have been constipated for more than 1 week.
This medicine may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using methylcellulose if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Ask your doctor before taking methylcellulose if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 years old without medical advice.
How should I take Citrucel (methylcellulose)?
Methylcellulose is usually taken 1 to 3 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.
Methylcellulose is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a full glass (8 ounces) of cold water or other liquid. Drink all of the mixture, and then drink one more glass of water.
Taking methylcellulose without enough liquid may cause the powder 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.
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 methylcellulose 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 Citrucel (methylcellulose)?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Citrucel (methylcellulose) 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 methylcellulose.
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 Citrucel (methylcellulose)?
Other drugs may interact with methylcellulose, 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.
More about Citrucel (methylcellulose)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 0 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: laxatives
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about methylcellulose.
- 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: 2.01.
Date modified: May 03, 2017
Last reviewed: September 13, 2014