About Psyllium

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About Psyllium


What is psyllium?


Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative. It absorbs liquid in the intestines and makes a bulky, softer stool which is easier to pass.
Psyllium is used to treat constipation. Psyllium may also be used to treat diarrhea and to lower cholesterol when prescribed by a doctor.
Psyllium may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

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


Do not use psyllium without first talking to your doctor if you have stomach (abdominal) pain, nausea, or vomiting, rectal bleeding, or difficulty in swallowing. Take psyllium with a full glass (at least 8 ounces) of cool water or another liquid. Taking psyllium without enough liquid may cause it to swell in the throat and cause choking. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking psyllium, seek immediate medical attention.

 

Who should not take psyllium?


Do not take psyllium without first talking to your doctor if you have

  • stomach (abdominal) pain, nausea, or vomiting, or rectal bleeding;
  • difficulty in swallowing; or
  • intestinal obstruction or fecal impaction.

You may not be able to take psyllium or you may require special monitoring while taking psyllium if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Psyllium is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take psyllium without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether psyllium passes into breast milk. Do not take psyllium without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. 

How should I take psyllium?


Take psyllium exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you. Take psyllium with a full glass (at least 8 ounces) of cool water or another liquid. Taking psyllium without enough liquid may cause it to swell in the throat and cause choking. Avoid breathing in the dust from psyllium powder when mixing. The dust can cause an allergic reaction when accidently inhaled. Chew the wafers thoroughly before swallowing. If you are taking another medicine by mouth, take psyllium at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after the prescribed medicine, unless otherwise directed by your doctor or pharmacist. Psyllium can be taken 1 to 3 times per day. It may require continued use for 2 to 3 days to provide optimal benefit. If psyllium has produced no effect within one week or if rectal bleeding occurs, stop taking psyllium and see your doctor. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking psyllium, seek immediate medical attention. Store psyllium at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?


Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. It is not necessary to take a double dose.

What happens if I overdose?


Seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of a psyllium overdose are not known but might include nausea, vomiting or stomach pain.

What should I avoid while taking psyllium?


Avoid breathing in the dust from psyllium powder when mixing. The dust can cause an allergic reaction when accidently inhaled. Psyllium side effects If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, stop taking psyllium and seek medical treatment or call your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • chest pain;
  • difficulty in swallowing;
  • rectal bleeding; or
  • severe abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting.

Other, less serious side effects, other than those listed here, may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Psyllium Dosing Information


Usual Adult Dose for Constipation:
1 to 2 rounded teaspoonfuls, 1 to 2 packets or 1 to 2 wafers in 8 ounces of fluid to be taken orally 1 to 4 times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: 1 to 2 rounded teaspoonfuls, 1 to 2 packets or 1 to 2 wafers in 8 ounces of fluid to be taken orally 1 to 4 times a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Constipation:
6 to 11 years:
0.5 to 1 rounded teaspoonful in 4 ounces of fluid to be taken orally 1 to 3 times a day.
> 11 years: 1 to 2 rounded teaspoonfuls, 1 to 2 packets or 1 to 2 wafers in 8 ounces of fluid to be taken orally 1 to 4 times a day.

What other drugs will affect psyllium?


Psyllium can interact with many medications. Before taking psyllium, tell your doctor if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines. You may not be able to take psyllium, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any other medicines. If you are taking another medicine by mouth, take psyllium at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after the prescribed medicine, unless otherwise directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

   •   Your pharmacist has more information about psyllium written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?


Psyllium is available over-the-counter under many brand names in several formulations. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.