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.
Side Effects Of Psyllium
Psyllium may cause side effects. If you have any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- stomach pain
- difficulty swallowing
- skin rash
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking psyllium:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to psyllium or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins. Do not take digoxin (Lanoxin), salicylates (aspirin), or nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin, Macrobid) within 3 hours of taking psyllium.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes mellitus, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, rectal bleeding, intestinal blockage, or difficulty swallowing.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking psyllium, call your doctor.
- tell your pharmacist or doctor if you are on a low-sugar or low-sodium diet.
- be careful not to breathe in psyllium powder when mixing a dose. It can cause allergic reactions when accidentally inhaled.
Dosage Of Psyllium
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.
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.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.