Compare Colace vs. Metamucil

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Colace
(Docusate)

Metamucil
(Psyllium)

Softens things up. Colace (Docusate) takes longer to work that some alternatives, but it's a more comfortable way to relieve constipation.Helps get things moving. The natural psyllium fiber in Metamucil (Psyllium) does more than relieve constipation. It lowers cholesterol, keeps blood sugar levels healthy, and makes you feel less hungry between meals.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.928Colace
Reviews for Colace (Docusate)
66%
of people say Colace (Docusate) is worth it
49%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Metamucil (Psyllium)
71%
+5% vs. Colace (Docusate)
45%
4% vs. Colace (Docusate)
10%
+3% vs. Colace (Docusate)
Side effects
ColaceMetamucil

We haven’t found good data for Colace side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Colace »

We haven’t found good data for Metamucil side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Metamucil »
How it works
ColaceMetamucil
Colace (Docusate) is a stool softener. It allows both fats and water into stool, which softens it and makes it easier to pass.Metamucil (Psyllium) is a fiber-based laxative. It adds bulk and moisture to your intestine, which softens stool and makes it easier to pass.
Type of medication
ColaceMetamucil
Laxative
Stool softener
Over-the-counter
Laxative
Bulk-producing
Over-the-counter
Available as
ColaceMetamucil
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ColaceMetamucil
Risk factors for serious side effects
ColaceMetamucil
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
  • Age 60 or older
Detailed Colace (Docusate) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Sensitivity to psyllium
Detailed Metamucil (Psyllium) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
ColaceMetamucil
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • It has multiple health benefits, good to control your hunger between meals, improves your blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
ColaceMetamucil
  • Colace is a gentle, non-irritating, non-stimulant constipation reliever.
  • It doesn't cause cramping or the uncomfortable feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Most people feel Colace is worth the hassle.
  • It's safe to use short-term during pregnancy and if you're breast-feeding, but you should still check with your baby doctor first.
  • Colace is used to prevent straining in people who recently had a heart attack.
  • It's a good choice after surgery, giving birth, or when you have hemorrhoids.
  • Psyllium is the most recommended brand of natural fiber laxative
  • Some people feel that taking Psyllium is a hassle, but most think it's worth it.
  • It has multiple health benefits, good to control your hunger between meals, improves your blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Studies show it works better than a stool softener for constipation.
Downsides and risks
ColaceMetamucil
  • May take up to 12 to 72 hours to take effect.
  • People who are older have medical conditions and take a lot of medicines may need more than 200 mg a day to get results.
  • It may be weaker than alternatives since it isn't a laxative. Studies show that stool softeners like Colace may be less effective than psyllium when it comes to treating constipation.
  • You may have to take Psyllium daily for 1-3 days to see full effects.
  • If you don't take it with enough liquid, it could swell, block your throat and cause choking.
  • Not the best choice for people who have swallowing problems or aren't able to drink lots of liquids.
  • Psyllium contains psyllium. Don't take if you have an allergy to psyllium from breathing it in or swallowing it.
  • Can cause gas and mild belly cramps.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ColaceMetamucil
  • It's best to take daily doses at bedtime or you can take it twice a day, but not for more than one week. Works in about 12-72 hours.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Colace to anyone younger than 2 years.
  • Don't use if you're taking mineral oil for constipation. Ask your doctor first.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Colace if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Check with your baby doctor before using or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Psyllium works in about 12-72 hours for constipation.
  • It's important to take each dose with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other liquid (not hot liquids).
  • Mix powder well and drink right away up to 3 times a day (build up to this slowly), but not for more than one week.
  • Don't take Psyllium within 2 hours before or after taking other medicines. It may interact and affect how they work.
  • If you take Psyllium then have chest pain, vomiting, trouble breathing or swallowing, get medical help immediately.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Psyllium if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Psyllium to anyone younger than 12 years.
  • Stop taking Psyllium and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly, rectal bleeding or have not had a bowel movement after taking.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Learn more
More about ColaceSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about MetamucilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert