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Related to psyllium: Metamucil


1. a plant of the genus Plantago.
2. the husk (psyllium husk) or seed (plantago) or (psyllium seed) of various species of Plantago; used as a bulk-forming laxative. See also psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid.


Fiberall, Fibrelief (UK), Fibro-Lax, Fibro-XL, Fybogel (UK), Hydrocil Instant, Isogel (UK), Ispagel (UK), Karacil (CA), Konsyl, Metamucil, Metamucil Orange Flavor, Metamucil Sugar Free, Modane Bulk, Natural Fiber Therapy, Prodiem Plain (CA), Regulan (UK), Reguloid, Reguloid Sugar Free

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:
• phenylketonuria
• 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.

Adverse reactions

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


None significant

Patient monitoring

• Monitor patient's bowel movements.
• Check for signs and symptoms of severe (but rare) allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis and asthma.

Patient teaching

• 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.


/psyl·li·um/ (sil´e-um)
1. a plant of the genus Plantago.
2. the husk (psyllium husk) or seed (plantago or psyllium seed) of various species of Plantago ; used as a bulk-forming laxative.


1. Any of several annual Eurasian plants of the genus Plantago, especially P. ovata or P. afra, having opposite leaves and small flowers borne in dense spikes.
2. The seed husks of any of these plants, widely used as a mild bulk laxative and sometimes added to foods as a dietary source of soluble fiber.


Herbal medicine
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).


Plantago psyllium GI disease A soluble dietary fiber that acts as a bulk laxative and cholesterol-lowering agent–ingestion protects against cholesterol gallstones. See Laxative, Soluble fiber.


The husk of the psyllium seed that is used to relieve constipation and treat some other gastrointestinal problems.

psyllium (silˑ·ē·m),

n Latin names:
Plantago ovata, Plantago psyllium, or
Plantago indica; parts used: husks, leaves, and seeds; uses: laxative, dietary aid, hypercholesterolemia, urinary tract conditions, and diarrhea; precautions: individuals with intestinal obstruction. May cause vomiting, anorexia, flatus, diarrhea, and bloating. Also called
blond plantago, broadleaf plantain, buckhorn, flea seed, French psyllium, snakeweed, way-bread, white man's foot, wild plantain, lanten, or
ripple grass.


a fecal softener made from the seeds of the plants Plantago psyllium, P. indica and P. ovata. The mucilloid portion of the seeds of P. ovata is used to make psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid which is a bulk aperient to relieve constipation caused by a low residue diet.
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