Polycarbophil is used to treat constipation. It is known as a bulk-forming laxative. It increases the bulk in your stool, an effect that helps to cause movement of the intestines. It also works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making the stool softer and easier to pass.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. If you are self-treating, follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. To prevent choking from this medication, take it with a full glass of water or other liquid (8 ounces/240 milliliters). If you are taking the chewable tablets, chew the tablet thoroughly before swallowing.
Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed.
This product may decrease the absorption of other medications you may be taking. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how long to wait between doses and when you should take your medications.
It may take 1 to 3 days before this medication starts working. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not take this medication for more than 7 days unless directed by your doctor.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens, or if bleeding from the rectum occurs. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Gas or stomach cramping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this product, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This product must be taken with at least a full glass of water or other liquid (8 ounces/240 milliliters) so that it will not swell in the throat, causing choking. Seek immediate medical attention if after taking this product you have symptoms of choking such as: chest pain, vomiting, difficulty swallowing/breathing.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking polycarbophil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: stomach/intestinal blockage, difficulty swallowing, appendicitis or symptoms of appendicitis (such as nausea/vomiting, sudden or unexplained stomach/abdominal pain), a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for longer than 2 weeks, bleeding from the rectum, high calcium levels (hypercalcemia), kidney disease.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
See also How To Use section.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Lifestyle changes that may prevent or relieve constipation include exercising, drinking enough water, and eating a proper diet with fiber-rich foods such as bran, fresh fruits/vegetables. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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