Fybogel is a high fiber laxative that you can buy without a prescription from pharmacies or supermarkets to treat constipation. It’s also prescribed to help maintain normal bowel function in various bowel disorders.
Fybogel comes as sachets of orange or lemon flavor granules that you dissolve in water to make a drink.
What is Fybogel used for?
- Relieving constipation, including constipation in pregnancy.
- Making your bowel movements more regular and easier to pass, so that you can avoid straining if you have piles (hemorrhoids) or an anal fissure.
- Maintaining normal bowel function if you have a colostomy or ileostomy, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, or chronic diarrhea associated with diverticular disease.
Key facts about Fybogel
- Fybogel is a brand name for ispaghula husk. Other brands include Ispagel.
- Fybogel is suitable for adults (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) and children, but don’t give it to children under six unless it’s been prescribed by a doctor.
- Fybogel takes two to three days to work.
- You take a dose twice a day – after breakfast and after your evening meal. Don’t take it immediately before going to bed.
- You must take each dose of Fybogel granules mixed into a full glass of water. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids while you’re taking it.
- The most common side effects are wind and bloating.
How does Fybogel work?
Fybogel sachets and Fybogel Hi-Fibre sachets both contain the active ingredient ispaghula husk 3.5g, which is a type of medicine called a bulk-forming laxative.
Ispaghula husk is a type of insoluble fiber that’s not absorbed into your body. It swells when it comes into contact with fluid in your gut and this makes your poo softer and bulkier. The increased bulk stimulates the muscles in the walls of your bowel to push the poo through the bowel, which relieves constipation.
If you have chronic watery diarrhea, the isphaghula helps by absorbing the excess water and adding bulk to your poo.
It can take a few days of taking Fybogel for your bowel movement to be improved.
Who can and can’t take Fybogel?
Most adults can take Fybogel, including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Most children can also take Fybogel, but you must not give it to a child under six years of age unless it’s been prescribed by a doctor.
Fybogel is not suitable for:
- People with any blockage in their gut (intestinal obstruction).
- People with compressed and hardened faeces causing a blockage of the bowel (faecal impaction).
- People with reduced motility or weakness in the muscle of the bowel wall.
- People who have difficulty swallowing.
- People with an inherited disorder of protein metabolism called phenylketonuria (Fybogel contains aspartame, which is a source of phenylalanine).
Dosage: How do you take Fybogel and how often?
The usual doses of Fybogel are:
Adults and children aged 13 years and over: One sachet dissolved in a glass of water twice a day, after breakfast and evening meals.
Children aged 6 to 12 years: Half to one level 5ml spoonful of granules (depending on child’s size and age) dissolved in a glass of water twice a day, after breakfast and evening meals.
Children aged under six years (only on the advice of a doctor): Half to one level 5ml spoonful of granules (depending on child’s size and age) dissolved in a glass of water after breakfast and evening meals.
Each dose of Fybogel granules must be stirred into a glass containing at least 150ml water. Drink it all as soon as the fizzing dies down and all the granules have dissolved.
Take care to avoid inhaling the powder when you’re preparing the medicine. Breathing in the powder can lead to allergic reactions.
While you’re taking Fybogel it’s important to make sure you drink enough liquid throughout the day, otherwise, there’s a risk of it causing a blockage in your gut.
If you forget to take a dose of Fybogel don’t worry, just take your next dose when it is due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you accidentally take too much Fybogel, drink plenty of water.
If you haven’t had a bowel movement after three days of taking Fybogel you should see your doctor.
What are the side effects of Fybogel?
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that may be associated with Fybogel. Just because a side effect is stated here doesn’t mean that all people taking Fybogel will experience that or any side effect.
- Excess gas in the stomach and intestines (flatulence or wind).
- Bloating or swelling of the abdomen.
- If you don’t take Fybogel with enough fluid, or if you take it shortly before going to bed, it can cause a blockage in your food pipe or intestines.
- Some people may have a mild allergic reaction to Fybogel, for example, a runny nose, or itchy eyes or skin. If you think you’re allergic to Fybogel stop taking it and get advice from your pharmacist or doctor.
- On rare occasions some people may have a more serious allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, throat or tongue, wheezing or difficulty breathing, itchy skin rash, or anaphylaxis. Get immediate medical attention if you experience any of these
Can I take Fybogel with other medicines?
If you’re already taking any other medicines it’s important to check with your pharmacist before taking Fybogel as well. Some medicines, for example, opioid painkillers like morphine, reduce the motility in your gut and this type of laxative may not be suitable for you if you’re taking one of these.
You should take Fybogel at least half an hour before or after taking other medicines.
Don’t take Fybogel with other laxatives unless advised to by your doctor.