Classifications: bulk laxative; antidiarrheal;
Therapeutic: bulk laxative
; antidiarrheal
Prototype: Psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid
Pregnancy Category: C


500 mg, 625 mg, tablets


Hydrophilic, bulk-producing laxative that restores normal moisture level and bulk content of intestinal tract. In constipation, retains free water in intestinal lumen, thereby indirectly opposing dehydrating forces of the bowel; in diarrhea, when intestinal mucosa is incapable of absorbing fluid, drug absorbs fecal fluid to form a gel. In both conditions, peristalsis is encouraged and a well-formed stool is produced.

Therapeutic Effect

Relieves constipation or diarrhea associated with bowel disorders and acute nonspecific diarrhea.


Constipation or diarrhea associated with diverticulitis or irritable bowel syndrome; acute nonspecific diarrhea.


GI obstruction; pregnancy (category C); children <6 y.

Cautious Use


Route & Dosage

Constipation or Diarrhea
Adult: PO 1 g q.i.d. as needed (max: 6 g/24 h)
Child: PO 6–12 y, 500 mg 1–3 times/d (max: 3 g/24 h); <6 y, 500 mg 1–2 times/d (max: 1.5 g/24 h)


  • Administer with at least 180–240 mL (6–8 oz) water or other fluid of patient's choice when used as a laxative and with at least 60–90 mL (2–3 oz) of fluid when used as an antidiarrheal. Chewed tablets should not be swallowed dry.
  • If diarrhea is severe, dose can be repeated every half hour up to maximum daily dose.

Adverse Effects (≥1%)

GI: Flatulence, abdominal fullness, intestinal obstruction; laxative dependence (long-term use).


Absorption: Not absorbed from the intestine. Bowel movement usually occurs within 12–72 h. Elimination: In feces.

Nursing Implications

Assessment & Drug Effects

  • Evaluate effectiveness of medication. If it is ineffective as an antidiarrheal, report to physician.
  • Report rectal bleeding, very dark stools, or abdominal pain promptly.

Patient & Family Education

  • You will likely have a bowel movement within 12–72 h.
  • This is an OTC product. Take this drug exactly as ordered. Do not increase the dose if response is inadequate. Consult physician. Do not use other laxatives while you are taking calcium polycarbophil.

Common adverse effects in italic, life-threatening effects underlined; generic names in bold; classifications in SMALL CAPS; Canadian drug name; Prototype drug

© 2006-2022 Last Updated On: 11/22/2022 (0)
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