Psyllium, a bulk-forming laxative, is used to treat constipation. It absorbs liquid in the intestines, swells, and forms a bulky stool, which is easy to pass.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Psyllium comes as a powder, granules, capsule, liquid, and wafer to take by mouth. It usually is taken one to three times daily. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take psyllium exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
The powder and granules must be mixed with 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of a pleasant tasting liquid, such as fruit juice, right before use. Chew wafers thoroughly. For psyllium to work properly and to prevent side effects, you must drink at least 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of liquid when you take it.
Do not take psyllium for longer than 1 week unless your doctor tells you to.
Your doctor also may prescribe psyllium to treat diarrhea or high cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
Before taking psyllium,
To prevent constipation, drink plenty of fluids, exercise regularly, and eat a high-fiber diet, including whole-grain (e.g., bran) cereals, fruits, and vegetables.
If you are taking scheduled doses of psyllium, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Psyllium may cause side effects. If you have any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have about taking this medicine.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.