Polycarbophil Tablets

What is this medication?

POLYCARBOPHIL (pol i KAR boe fil) treats occasional constipation. It works by increasing the bulk of your stool. This increases pressure, which prompts the muscles in your intestines to move stool. It also softens the stool, making it easier to have a bowel movement. It belongs to a group of medications called laxatives.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Fiber Laxative, Fiber-Lax, Fiber-Tabs, Fibercon, Konsyl

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Blocked intestines or bowel
  • Change in bowel habits for more than 14 days
  • High levels of calcium in your blood
  • Kidney disease
  • Stomach pain, nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble swallowing
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to polycarbophil, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water. Take it as directed on the label. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

Advertisement

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Digoxin
  • Estramustine
  • Ethotoin
  • Phenytoin
  • Some antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, levofloxacin, tetracycline
  • Strontium-89 chloride
  • Thyroid hormones

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

Advertisement

What should I watch for while using this medication?

This medication can take up to 3 days to work. Check with your care team if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. See your care team if you have to treat your constipation for more than 1 week.

Avoid taking other medications within 2 hours of taking this medication.

Drink several glasses of water a day while you are taking this medication. This will help to relieve constipation and prevent dehydration.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Choking—chest pain, trouble swallowing or breathing, vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:

  • Take the medications to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If your cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, take the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use.

Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

Ad
Call Appointment Center 24/7 866.320.4573
Questions 216.444.2200