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polycarbophil (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking polycarbophil?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to polycarbophil or to mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, or povidone (such as Betadine).

Before using polycarbophil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • trouble swallowing;
  • a blockage in your intestines;
  • stomach pain with nausea or vomiting;
  • a history of bleeding from your rectum; or
  • a sudden change in your bowel habits that has lasted for 2 weeks or longer.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to take polycarbophil, or you may need a dose adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Ask your doctor before taking polycarbophil if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Some forms of polycarbophil may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this medication if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Do not give this medicine to a young child without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take polycarbophil?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with a full glass (8 ounces) of water or other liquid. The tablet may expand in your throat and cause you to choke if you do not use enough liquid to help swallow the pill. Unless you need to restrict your fluid intake, drink plenty of fluids each day while you are taking polycarbophil.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before your swallow it.

Older adults may be more likely to choke while taking this medication. Be sure to drink a full glass of water while swallowing the regular tablet, or after chewing the chewable tablet.

Polycarbophil is usually taken up to 4 times per day. Do not take more of this medicine than recommended by your doctor or printed on the medicine label.

Polycarbophil should cause you to have a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours. Call your doctor if your constipation does not improve after 3 days of taking this medication.

Do not take polycarbophil for longer than 7 days unless your doctor tells you to. Overuse of a laxative may cause damage to the nerves, muscles, or tissues in your intestines.

Store polycarbophil at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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