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psyllium (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking psyllium?

Laxatives may be habit-forming if they are used too often or for too long. This can lead to damage of intestinal nerves or muscle tissues. Do not take psyllium for longer than directed on the label or prescribed by your doctor.

You should not take this product if you are allergic to psyllium, or if you have:

  • trouble swallowing;
  • a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts longer than 2 weeks;
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; or
  • if you have ever had a skin rash while taking psyllium.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have:

  • a colostomy or ileostomy;
  • rectal bleeding; or
  • a blockage in your intestines.

Psyllium products may contain sugar, sodium, or artificial sweeteners. This may be of concern to you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the product label if you have any of these conditions.

Psyllium is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether psyllium passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take psyllium?

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

Take psyllium with a full glass (at least 8 ounces) of water or another liquid. Taking psyllium without enough liquid may cause it to swell in your throat and cause choking. Drinking plenty of fluids each day while you are taking psyllium will also help improve bowel regularity.

The psyllium wafer must be chewed before you swallow it.

Do not swallow psyllium powder dry. It must be mixed with liquid. Place the psyllium powder into an empty glass and add at least 8 ounces of water or other liquid such as fruit juice. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away.

If the powder and liquid mixture is too thick, add more liquid. After drinking the entire mixture, add a little more liquid to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away to make sure you get the entire dose of psyllium.

Psyllium may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

It may take up to 3 days of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 or 3 days of treatment.

Do not take psyllium for longer than 7 days in a row unless your doctor has told you to.

Store 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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