Generic Name: methylcellulose (METH il SEL yoo los)
Brand Name: Citrucel
Medically reviewed on September 13, 2018
What is Citrucel?
Citrucel is a bulk-forming laxative that increases the amount of water in your stools to help make them softer and easier to pass.
Citrucel is used to treat constipation and to help maintain regular bowel movements.
Citrucel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Citrucel if you are allergic to it.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Citrucel if you have other medical conditions, especially:
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 Citrucel if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Ask your doctor before taking Citrucel 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?
Citrucel 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.
Citrucel 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 Citrucel 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 Citrucel 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?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Citrucel 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 Citrucel.
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?
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.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
More about Citrucel (methylcellulose)
- Citrucel Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- Drug class: laxatives