Psyllium (Ispaghula husk)

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Update Date 14/08/2020 . 4 mins read
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Uses

What is psyllium used for?

Psyllium, or ispaghula husk, is a source of soluble fiber derived from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. As a bulk-forming laxative, psyllium promotes a healthy digestive system, regular bowel movements, and relieves constipation and certain cases of diarrhea. Stools become well-formed and easier to pass.

Aside from its laxative properties, psyllium aids with regulating blood sugar, slows down digestion, and reduces cholesterol absorption from food. It may also serve as a diet aid by controlling appetite and promoting weight loss.

How should I take psyllium?

Psyllium is available as a powder that needs to be fully dissolved in a full glass of water or juice. It is also available in capsule form. The capsule form should be swallowed whole followed by a glass of water. Do not open, chew, crush, or dissolve the contents of the capsule. For the full lipid-lowering and appetite-controlling effects, it is best to consume the mixture before meals.

How do I store psyllium?

This drug should be stored at room temperature (<30°C) and be protected from light. Do not allow this product to freeze. Always check the label before using this product. For safety, keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not use if the printed expiration date has passed, the product seal has been broken, or the product has changed in color, odor, or consistency.

Do not dispose of this product by pouring it down the drain, toilet, or into the environment. Ask your pharmacist regarding the proper way and location of disposal.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using psyllium?

Before using this medication, inform your doctor if:

  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to psyllium
  • You have a history of allergy to other medications, food, or other substances
  • You are taking other medications, particularly other laxatives
  • You have underlying health conditions

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

This drug is generally safe to use at any time before, during, or after pregnancy. This drug should only be used during pregnancy if there is a clear need and the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks, as determined by your doctor.

This drug is not excreted in breast milk. You may start or continue to breastfeed while using psyllium.

Side effects

What side effects can occur when using psyllium?

All drugs have the potential to elicit side effects even with normal use. Many side effects are dose-related and will resolve when it is adjusted or at the end of therapy.

While side effects are not likely, potential side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Flatulence (gassiness)
  • Gastrointestinal impaction or obstruction
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
    • Runny nose
    • Conjunctivitis
    • Bronchospasm
    • Anaphylaxis
  • Cutaneous (skin) symptoms
    • Redness
    • Itching

You may experience some, none, or other side effects not mentioned above. If you have any concerns about a side effect or it becomes bothersome, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with psyllium?

This drug may interact with other medications. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Known drugs and their interactions with psyllium include:

  • Cardiac glycosides
  • Coumarin derivatives
  • Lithium
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Minerals (e.g. calcium, iron, or zinc)

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Your dose may need to be adjusted, substituted with another drug, or discontinue using the drug.

Does food or alcohol interact with psyllium?

The oral form of this drug should be taken on an empty stomach for optimal absorption, as food may reduce the amount of drug that is absorbed. It can be taken 1-2 hours before or 2-3 hours after meals. There are no notable interactions with alcohol with this drug.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding food-drug interactions.

What health conditions may interact with psyllium?

This drug should be taken with caution if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Conditions that make swallowing difficult
  • Pre-existing fecal impaction
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Reduced gut motility (e.g. paralytic ileus)
  • Colonic atony (e.g. senile megacolon)

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding specific health conditions

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using psyllium.

What is the dose of psyllium for an adult?

For treating constipation

Oral

  • Dissolve 3.5 g into a full glass of water or juice and drink it 1-3 times per day.

For treating mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)

Oral

  • Dissolve 7.5-10 g into a full glass of water or juice and drink it as an supplement to a low-fat or lipid-lowering diet.

What is the dose of psyllium for a child?

For treating constipation

Oral

  • Children <12 years: dissolve ½ to 1 teaspoon in water or juice and give it once in the morning and evening. Each level teaspoonful (5 mL) contains 1.75 g of psyllium.

How is psyllium available?

This drug is available in the following brands, dosage forms and strengths:

  • C-Lium Fibre powder for oral suspension 5 g
  • C-Lium Fibre capsule 5 g
  • Fibro-Lium for oral suspension 5 g
  • Mucofalk powder for oral suspension 5 g
  • Trufit capsule 5 g

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

Symptoms of overdose are the same as those described under “Side effects”. Management includes maintaining or increasing fluid intake.

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of this drug, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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