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psyllium

Pronunciation: SIL ee um

Brand: Hydrocil, Konsyl, Laxmar, Metamucil, Natural Fiber Therapy, Reguloid

What is the most important information I should know about psyllium?

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 is psyllium?

Psyllium is a bulk-forming fiber laxative that is used to treat occasional constipation or bowel irregularity.

Psyllium may also help lower cholesterol when used together with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking psyllium?

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

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have ever had:

  • stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting;
  • trouble swallowing; or
  • a sudden change in bowel habits lasting longer than 2 weeks.

This medicine may contain sugar, sodium, or phenylalanine. Check the medication label if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, phenylketonuria (PKU), or if you are on a low-salt diet.

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.

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

How should I take psyllium?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

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

Psyllium 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.

Take psyllium with a full glass (at least 8 ounces) of water or other liquid.

Swallow psyllium capsules one at a time.

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

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

Do not take psyllium 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.

Psyllium 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. Keep the container tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since psyllium is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

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 psyllium?

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

If you take psyllium as part of a cholesterol-lowering treatment plan, avoid eating foods high in fat or cholesterol or your overall treatment will not be as effective.

What are the possible side effects of psyllium?

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 psyllium and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • constipation that lasts longer than 7 days;
  • rectal bleeding; or
  • severe stomach pain.

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 psyllium?

Psyllium can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines you take by mouth, possibly making them less effective. If you take any oral medicines, take them 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take psyllium.

Other drugs may affect 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.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about psyllium.

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.

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