Over-the-counterLower-cost generic available

Metamucil

(Psyllium)

Over-the-counterLower-cost generic available
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Helps get things moving.

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Our bottom line

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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Upsides

  • 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.
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Downsides

  • 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.
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Side effect rates for Metamucil (Psyllium)

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These are side effects of Metamucil (Psyllium) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Metamucil (Psyllium)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Age 60 or older
    • Malignancy
    • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
    • Taking medications that cause constipation

    Stop taking Metamucil (Psyllium) and call your doctor right away if you have nausea, vomiting, pain or bulging in your belly that doesn't go away, have rectal bleeding, and no bowel movement after taking. These may be symptoms of a bowel blockage (bowel obstruction) which is serious.

Common concerns from people taking Metamucil (Psyllium)

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Pregnancy
Food
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.