Compare Magnesium Citrate vs. Metamucil

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

Citrate Of Magnesia
(Magnesium Citrate)

Metamucil
(Psyllium)

Treats constipation. Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) works well if you need to really get things moving, but it's not a good medicine to manage chronic 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
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Reviews for Metamucil (Psyllium)
71%
29% vs. Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate)
45%
55% vs. Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate)
10%
10% vs. Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate)
Side effects
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil

We haven’t found good data for Magnesium Citrate side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Magnesium Citrate »

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

FDA side effect reports for Metamucil »
How it works
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) is an osmotic and stimulant laxative. It uses osmosis to keep more water in your intestine, which softens your stool and makes it easier to pass. It also causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through.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
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
LaxativePrescription or OTC
Laxative
Bulk-producing
Over-the-counter
Available as
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
  • Liquid
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
Risk factors for serious side effects
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
  • Age 60 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have kidney disease and neuromuscular disease
  • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have neuromuscular disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Taking other magnesium-containing medicines or supplements
Detailed Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) 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
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
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
  • Ask your doctor before taking Magnesium Citrate if you have kidney disease, are on a limited magnesium or sodium diet, have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Magnesium can build up in your blood if you have kidney problems. High magnesium levels can be dangerous and affect your heart, cause weakness and lower your calcium levels. Don't take Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have problems with your kidneys or are taking other magnesium-containing medicines. or supplements..
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
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
  • Really strong laxative that gets things moving fast.
  • Can also be used to prep your bowel before you go for surgery or colonoscopy. Your doctor will give you specific instructions if you use it this way.
  • 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
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
  • It doesn't work for everyone and some people feel it's a hassle.
  • Some brands are of Magnesium Citrate are tinted red and can change the color of your stool.
  • Can cause dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Magnesium Citrate contains magnesium which prevents certain medicines from working properly. Make sure you take your dose of Magnesium Citrate at least 2 hours before or after other medicines.
  • You can't take it for more than a week or so.
  • 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
Magnesium CitrateMetamucil
  • Magnesium Citrate starts working in 30 minutes to 6 hours.
  • Works fast, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • The dose is different for adults and children so check the label and ask your doctor about giving to anyone younger than 6 years.
  • It tastes better if you chill the bottle before you take it. Make sure you drink 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other liquid after each dose.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Magnesium Citrate if you have kidney disease, are on a limited magnesium or sodium diet, have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Stop taking Magnesium Citrate and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly, rectal bleeding, or haven't had a bowel movement after taking.
  • For short-term use. Don't use it for more than one week.
  • 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 Magnesium CitrateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about MetamucilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert