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Related to methylcellulose: Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose


a methyl ester of cellulose, used as a bulk laxative, as a suspending agent for drugs, and applied topically to the cornea during certain ophthalmic procedures to protect and lubricate the cornea.


Celevac (UK), Citrucel, Entrocel (CA)

Pharmacologic class: Semisynthetic cellulose derivative

Therapeutic class: Bulk laxative

Pregnancy risk category NR


Stimulates peristalsis by promoting water absorption into fecal matter and increasing bulk, resulting in bowel evacuation


Powder: 105 mg/g, 196 mg/g

Indications and dosages

Chronic constipation

Adults and children ages 12 and older: Up to 6 g P.O. daily in divided doses of 0.45 to 3 g

Children ages 6 to 11: Up to 3 g P.O. daily in divided doses of 0.45 to 1.5 g


• Signs or symptoms of appendicitis or undiagnosed abdominal pain
• Partial bowel obstruction
• Dysphagia


Use cautiously in:
• hepatitis
• intestinal ulcers
• laxative-dependent patients.


• Give with 8 oz of fluid.
• If patient is receiving maximum daily dosage, give in divided doses to reduce risk of esophageal obstruction.

Adverse reactions

GI: nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; severe constipation; abdominal distention; cramps; esophageal, gastric, small-intestine, or colonic strictures (with dry form); GI obstruction

Other: laxative dependence (with long-term use)


Drug-drug.Antibiotics, digitalis, nitrofurantoin, oral anticoagulants, salicylates, tetracyclines: decreased absorption and action of these drugs

Patient monitoring

• Assess patient's dietary habits. Consider factors that promote constipation, such as certain diseases and medications.
• Monitor patient for signs and symptoms of esophageal obstruction.
• Evaluate fluid and electrolyte balance in patients using laxatives excessively.

Patient teaching

• Instruct patient to take with a full glass (8 oz) of water.
• Advise patient to prevent or minimize constipation through adequate fluid intake (four to six glasses of water daily), proper diet, increased fiber intake, daily exercise, and prompt response to urge to defecate.

Instruct patient to report chest pain or pressure, vomiting, and difficulty breathing (possible symptoms of GI obstruction).
• Caution patient not to use drug for more than 1 week without prescriber's approval.
• Inform patient that chronic laxative use may lead to dependence.
• Tell patient to contact prescriber if constipation persists or if rectal bleeding or symptoms of electrolyte imbalance (muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness) occur.
• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs mentioned above.


A methyl ester of cellulose that forms a colorless viscous liquid when dissolved in water, alcohol, or ether; used to increase bulk of the intestinal contents, to relieve constipation, or of the gastric contents, to reduce appetite in obesity; also used dissolved in water as a spray to cover burned areas and as a suspending agent in pharmaceuticals and foods.


/meth·yl·cel·lu·lose/ (-sel´ūl-ōs) a methyl ester of cellulose; used as a bulk laxative and as a suspending agent for drugs and applied topically to the conjunctiva to protect and lubricate the cornea during certain ophthalmic procedures.


(mĕth′əl-sĕl′yə-lōs′, -lōz′)
A powdery substance that is prepared synthetically by the methylation of natural cellulose, swells in water to form a gel, and is used as a food additive, bulk-forming laxative, emulsifier, and thickener.


A highly viscous, water-soluble, non-irritating compound used as a thickening, lubricating and clinging agent in drugs such as artificial tears, wetting and contact lens solutions. See alacrima; keratoconjunctivitis sicca; artificial tears.


a methyl ester of cellulose; used as a bulk laxative and applied topically to the cornea during certain ophthalmic procedures to protect and lubricate the cornea. Used also as an obstetrical lubricant and, in squeeze bottles, as a lubricant for rectal examinations in large animals.
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