Skip to Content

Metamucil

Generic Name: psyllium (SIL ee um)
Brand Name: Hydrocil, Konsyl, Laxmar, Metamucil, Natural Fiber Therapy, Reguloid

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Nov 20, 2017 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Metamucil?

See also: Amitiza

Metamucil is a bulk-forming fiber laxative. This medicine works by absorbing liquid and swelling in the intestines to create a softer, bulky stool that is easier to pass.

Metamucil is used to treat occasional constipation or bowel irregularity. This medicine may also help lower cholesterol when used together with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

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

Important Information

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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take Metamucil if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take Metamucil if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting;

  • trouble swallowing; or

  • a sudden change in bowel habits lasting longer than 2 weeks.

Metamucil products may contain sugar, sodium, or artificial sweetener. These ingredients may be of concern if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the product label if you have any of these conditions.

Ask a doctor before using Metamucil if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.

Do not give Metamucil to a child younger than 6 years old without medical advice.

How should I take Metamucil?

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.

Laxatives may be habit-forming if they are used too often or for too long.

Take Metamucil with a full glass (at least 8 ounces) of water or other liquid. This medicine can swell in your throat and cause choking if you don't take it with enough liquid. Drink plenty of fluids each day to help improve bowel regularity.

Swallow Metamucil capsules one at a time. Do not take more than the recommended number of capsules per dose.

Metamucil powder must be mixed with liquid before you take it. Do not swallow the dry powder. Mix the powder with at least 8 ounces of liquid such as water or fruit juice. Stir and drink this mixture right away. To get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

The Metamucil wafer must be chewed before you swallow it.

Metamucil usually produces a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours.

It may take up to 3 days before your symptoms improve. Do not take Metamucil for longer than 7 days in a row without a doctor's advice. Using a laxative too often or for too long may cause severe medical problems with your intestines.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using Metamucil.

Metamucil may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Metamucil 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 Metamucil?

Avoid taking other oral (by mouth) medicines within 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take Metamucil. Bulk-forming laxatives can make it harder for your body to absorb other medications, possibly making them less effective.

Avoid breathing in the dust from Metamucil powder when mixing. Inhaling this medicine dust may cause an allergic reaction.

If you take Metamucil as part of a cholesterol-lowering treatment plan, avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Your treatment will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.

Metamucil side effects

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

Stop using Metamucil and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • choking or trouble swallowing;

  • severe stomach pain, cramping, nausea or vomiting;

  • constipation that lasts longer than 7 days;

  • rectal bleeding; or

  • itchy skin rash.

Common side effects may include:

  • bloating; or

  • minor change in your bowel habits.

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.

What other drugs will affect Metamucil?

Other drugs may interact with psyllium, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Hide