Compare Dulcolax vs. Metamucil

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

Dulcolax
(bisacodyl)

Metamucil
(psyllium)

Treats constipation. Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) works fast and the suppositories work even faster to relieve your constipation, as long as you're okay with it "cramping" your style a bit.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.14Dulcolax
Reviews for Dulcolax
65%
of people (All ages) say Dulcolax is worth it
49%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
160 reviews
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Metamucil
71%
-6% worse vs. Dulcolax
45%
+4% better vs. Dulcolax
10%
-6% worse vs. Dulcolax
454 reviews
Have you used Metamucil (psyllium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DulcolaxMetamucil

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

FDA side effect reports for Dulcolax »

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

FDA side effect reports for Metamucil »
How it works
DulcolaxMetamucil
Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) is a stimulant laxative that you can take by mouth or in a suppository. It causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.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
DulcolaxMetamucil
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
DulcolaxMetamucil
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Liquid
Used for
DulcolaxMetamucil
Risk factors for serious side effects
DulcolaxMetamucil
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Age 60 or greater
Detailed Dulcolax (bisacodyl) 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

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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.

Food
DulcolaxMetamucil
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Pain
DulcolaxMetamucil
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
DulcolaxMetamucil
  • Most people said it was worth taking and it wasn't too much of a hassle.
  • Tablets give overnight relief of your constipation.
  • Dulcolax can also be used to treat constipation caused by spinal cord injury.
  • Suppositories give you quick relief without having to drink a large amount of liquid medicine.
  • 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
DulcolaxMetamucil
  • Dulcolax can cause cramping, stomach upset, feeling faint, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • You have to be comfortable with putting the medicine in your rectum.
  • Suppositories can cause slight rectal burning.
  • 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
DulcolaxMetamucil
  • Swallow tablets whole (don't chew or crush) at bedtime, but not for more than one week.
  • Tablet works in 6 to 12 hours. Suppository works in 15 minutes to an hour, so make sure you're near a bathroom.
  • Don't take tablets within 1 hour of taking antacids, milk or dairy products.
  • Be sure to remove the wrapper from the suppository before inserting it into your rectum.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Dulcolax to anyone younger than 6 years.
  • Don't take 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 breast-feeding.
  • 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 DulcolaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MetamucilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Metamucil (psyllium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it