October 24, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

 Health Home >> Medications 

Metamucil

(psyllium fibre)


What side effects are possible with Metamucil?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • bloating
  • gas
  • heartburn

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • worsening or continued constipation

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face or throat

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.





Are there any other precautions or warnings for Metamucil?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Aspartame: Some forms of this medication contain aspartame and should not be taken by people who have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Difficulty swallowing: If you have difficulty swallowing or if there is a narrowing of your esophagus, do not take this medication. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty breathing after taking this medication, get immediate medical attention.

Fluids: It is important to take this medication with plenty of fluids (240 mL per dose). Not doing this can cause the medication to swell and block the throat or esophagus (the tube that connects the stomach to the mouth), causing choking.

Sudden change in bowel movements: If you are experiencing a sudden change in your bowel movements that has lasted more than 2 weeks, contact your doctor before using this medication. Your doctor will want to make sure that another medical condition is not causing your constipation.

Pregnancy: This medication is considered safe to use during pregnancy.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if psyllium fibre passes into breast milk. However, this medication is considered safe to use for women who are breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication to lower cholesterol have not been established for children less than 6 years of age. Children 6 to 11 years of age should use the powder form of this medication.

What other drugs could interact with Metamucil?

Psyllium fibre may interact with many medications by reducing the amount of other medications that is absorbed. Therefore it is recommended that other medications not be taken 2 hours before or after taking this medication.

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

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