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Pharmacologic class: Psyllium colloid
Therapeutic class: Bulk-forming laxative
Pregnancy risk category B
Stimulates lining of colon, increasing peristalsis and water absorption of stool and promoting evacuation
Chewable pieces: 1.7 g/piece, 3.4 g/piece
Granules: 2.5 g/tsp, 4.03 g/tsp
Powder: 3.3 g/tsp, 3.4 g/tsp, 3.5 g/tsp, 4.94 g/tsp
Powder (effervescent): 3.4 g/packet, 3.7 g/packet
Wafers: 3.4 g/2 wafers
Indications and dosages
➣ Chronic constipation; ulcerative colitis; irritable bowel syndrome
Adults and children ages 12 and older: 30 g daily in divided doses of 2.5 to 7.5 g/dose P.O. in 8 oz of water or juice
• Hypersensitivity to drug
• Intestinal obstruction
• Abdominal pain or other appendicitis symptoms
• Fecal impaction
Use cautiously in:
• pregnant patients.
• Mix powder with 8 oz of cold liquid (such as orange juice) to mask taste.
• Give diluted drug immediately after mixing, before it congeals. Follow with another glass of fluid.
GI: nausea; vomiting; diarrhea (with excessive use); abdominal cramps with severe constipation; anorexia; esophageal, gastric, small-intestine, or rectal obstruction (with dry form)
Respiratory: asthma (rare)
Other: severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis
• Monitor patient's bowel movements.
• Check for signs and symptoms of severe (but rare) allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis and asthma.
• Tell patient to dissolve in 8 oz of cold beverage and drink immediately, followed by another glass of liquid.
• Caution patient not to take without dissolving in liquid.
• Instruct patient to take after meals if drug decreases his appetite.
• Tell patient drug usually causes bowel movement within 12 to 24 hours but may take as long as 3 days.
☞ Instruct patient to immediately stop taking drug and notify prescriber if signs and symptoms of allergic reaction occur.
• Advise diabetic patient to use sugar-free drug form.
• Instruct patient with phenylketonuria to avoid forms containing phenylalanine.
• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions.
An annual herb, the seeds of which contain alkaloids, glycosides, mucilage, silica and tannins. Psyllium is believed to be antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and expectorant; it is used internally as a bulk laxative and for bronchitis, diarrhoea and cystitis, and topically for cuts, stings, insect bites, haemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Psyllium powder may evoke an allergic reaction, and unsoaked seeds may cause gastrointestinal discomfort; it should not be used in young children, or in pregnancy (as it stimulates uterine contraction).