Professional Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by healthcare professionals about the benefits of Metamucil® and how to safely and effectively add it to your patients’ diet.

What is the active ingredient in Metamucil?What is the active ingredient in Metamucil?

The active ingredient in Metamucil is psyllium husk, a natural plant fiber that is a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber.

How much of the active ingredient does Metamucil contain?How much of the active ingredient does Metamucil contain?

Metamucil Powder/Wafer formulations deliver approximately 3 g of psyllium husk per dose. Metamucil Capsules deliver 525 mg of psyllium husk per capsule. Metamucil Capsules Plus Calcium delivers 600 mg of psyllium husk per capsule.

What is the difference between viscous soluble and insoluble fiber?What is the difference between viscous soluble and insoluble fiber?

Dietary fiber can be divided into two main types: soluble and insoluble. Viscous soluble fiber (such as the kind in Metamucil) forms a viscous gel. Other kinds of soluble fiber dissolve completely in water. Insoluble fibers do not form gels and move through the GI tract largely intact. Most fibers are exclusively soluble or insoluble but not a mixture of both types. Psyllium husk is unique because it is rich in viscous soluble fiber (70-80%) and insoluble fiber. In fact, psyllium husk is one of the highest naturally occurring sources of viscous soluble fiber. Both types of fiber are important to a healthy diet.

How does psyllium fiber maintain healthy blood sugar levels as part of my patients’ diet?*<sup>†</sup>How does psyllium fiber maintain healthy blood sugar levels as part of my patients’ diet?*

Psyllium forms a viscous gel, which traps sugars as the gel moves down the intestine. Trapped sugars are slowly released and absorbed into the body – so that too much will not be released into the blood at one time.

Do capsules work as well as other versions of Metamucil?Do capsules work as well as other versions of Metamucil?

Capsules, powders, and wafers have the same active ingredient—psyllium husk. One serving of any form of Metamucil is approximately equal to 3 grams of dietary fiber. The exception is Metamucil Wafers, which offer 5 grams of dietary fiber per two-wafer serving. Six Metamucil Capsules equal one serving. Five Metamucil Capsules Plus Calcium equal one serving, providing 300 mg of calcium in addition to the 3 grams of dietary fiber. Capsules, powders, and wafers all generally produce effects in 12 to 72 hours.

Why are so many capsules required per dose?Why are so many capsules required per dose?

Each Metamucil capsule contains 0.525 grams of psyllium husk. Each Metamucil Plus Calcium Capsule contains 0.6 grams of psyllium husk. Depending on the benefits one wants to get from the product, one can use a different number of capsules. For adding some dietary fiber to the diet, one can take as little as 2 capsules per dose. For maintaining regularity and helping to lower cholesterol, one will need more grams of psyllium husk per dose.

How much sugar is in Metamucil and what effect would this have on a calorie-restricted diet?How much sugar is in Metamucil and what effect would this have on a calorie-restricted diet?

Wafers and some of the Metamucil powdered formulations contain sugar. In general, products containing sugar are not recommended for patients with diabetes, and the wafers may not be appropriate for patients on calorie-restricted diets (100 calories per dose). There are, however, Sugar Free Metamucil products (Powders and Capsules) that don't contain sugar and are low in calories.

Are there any drug interactions or restrictions with Metamucil?Are there any drug interactions or restrictions with Metamucil?

Laxatives, including bulk fibers, may affect how well other medications work. If your patients are taking a prescription medication by mouth, they should take Metamucil at least two hours before or two hours after the prescribed medicine.

What are the exact medications one should be careful to separate by the recommended two-hour period?What are the exact medications one should be careful to separate by the recommended two-hour period?

All oral prescription medications are covered by this label precaution. Healthcare professionals wanting further information should call 1-800-983-4237.

Why is the dosage/serving size different for some versions of Metamucil powders?Why is the dosage/serving size different for some versions of Metamucil powders?

All Metamucil powder products contain the same amount of psyllium husk per dose/serving—approximately 3.4 grams. However, dosage/serving size amounts differ by version because the sweeteners and flavorings used in each Metamucil product vary in volume and density.

In what flavors/varieties is Metamucil available?In what flavors/varieties is Metamucil available?

Currently, Metamucil is available in Capsules, Capsules Plus Calcium, Original Coarse, Orange Coarse, Original Smooth Sugar-Free, Orange Smooth Sugar-Free, Orange Smooth, Berry Smooth Sugar-Free, Pink Lemonade Sugar-Free. All other flavors and versions (citrus, effervescent, lemon-lime, strawberry) have been discontinued. Metamucil Wafers are available in Apple Crisp and Cinnamon Spice flavors (natural and artificial flavors). See our product list for more details.

Can I use Metamucil in a nasogastric (ng) tube? In a gastric (g) tube?Can I use Metamucil in a nasogastric (ng) tube? In a gastric (g) tube?

No. The product should be used per the label directions.

Where can I find information on Metamucil sodium/potassium/calorie/carbohydrate/fat/phenylalanine levels per dose?Where can I find information on Metamucil sodium/potassium/calorie/carbohydrate/fat/phenylalanine levels per dose?

You can consult our dosage and serving information page, the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR), or the Physician's Desk Reference for Nonprescription Drugs (NPDR) under the "Procter & Gamble" listing, or call 1-800-983-4237. If you choose to call, additional information is available on elements such as phosphorus and magnesium content.

Does Metamucil contain gluten?Does Metamucil contain gluten?

All Metamucil Powders and Capsules are gluten-free (less than 20 ppm). Metamucil Wafers, however, contain gluten (Apple Crisp 0.7 gram/dose; Cinnamon Spice 0.5 gram/dose) because they have wheat flour as an ingredient.

Which Metamucil products do not contain aspartame?Which Metamucil products do not contain aspartame?

  • Metamucil Original Coarse Powder
  • Metamucil Orange Coarse Powder
  • Metamucil Smooth Orange Sugar Powder
  • Metamucil Smooth Original Powder
  • Metamucil Capsules
  • Metamucil Capsules Plus Calcium
  • Metamucil Wafers (both Apple Crisp and Cinnamon Spice)

Which Metamucil has gelatin in it? Is it Kosher?Which Metamucil has gelatin in it? Is it Kosher?

Metamucil Capsules and Metamucil Capsules Plus Calcium contain gelatin. Metamucil has not gone through certification for Kosher.

Does Metamucil cause diarrhea?Does Metamucil cause diarrhea?

Unlike many other stimulant laxatives, osmotic laxatives, or mineral oil, Metamucil should not cause diarrhea when used as directed. On the contrary, Metamucil can absorb and retain water to make loose stools less watery. Many doctors believe that a bulk fiber can help make bowel movements more formed and less fluid. In at least eight studies done on Metamucil and psyllium (Metamucil's fiber ingredient) psyllium was shown to improve viscosity of loose stools and make stools firmer.

Are there sugar-free options for my patients?Are there sugar-free options for my patients?

Yes, Metamucil offers Sugar Free Orange Smooth Powder, Sugar Free Berry Smooth Powder, Sugar Free Pink Lemonade Smooth Powder (all with aspartame), and Original Smooth Powder (with no sweeteners). Metamucil Capsules and Capsules Plus Calcium do not contain any sugar, sweeteners, or artificial sweeteners.

Can psyllium cause an allergic reaction?Can psyllium cause an allergic reaction?

This product may cause allergic reaction in people sensitive to inhaled or ingested psyllium.