This Is What Happens When You Start Taking Metamucil

Metamucil is a popular over-the-counter laxative medication used to help relieve constipation. It can also be a regular part of your vegetable-rich diet routine to increase your fiber and bowel movements.

But Metamucil doesn't immediately jumpstart your stool. It can take 1-3 days to start working, by causing intestinal movement with increased water in your stool to make it easier to pass (via WebMD). Metamucil can be taken in powder form, as a drink, or as wafers, with the dose depending on your age and medical condition.

Once you start the Metamucil, it can provide numerous perks to your digestive health, like relieving constipation and increasing your bowel regularity, thanks to all of the fiber (via As another added bonus, Metamucil traps bile acid in the gut so it can be flushed out in your bowels, instead of it being reabsorbed by your body, which in turn lowers your cholesterol level.

Potential side effects of Metamucil

However, there are some side effects of Metamucil that you should be aware of — especially if you don't drink enough fluids. You might start having abdominal cramps, or experience bloating and gas, along with your stool changing. Dehydration is also a possibility if proper fluid intake isn't happening, and it could even have the opposite effect by making your constipation worse (via

You should consult with your doctor before continuing treatment for longer than seven days. This is because your body can get used to Metamucil, meaning it could stop working for you. It is also beneficial to tell your doctor of any other medications you are taking, to ensure there are no possible interactions, and monitor your side effects for any possible allergic reactions.

Metamucil should be avoided within two hours of taking other medications or vitamins, as it can negatively impact the absorption of other medications, according to WebMD. But for the most part, Metamucil can be a healthy addition to your diet, and is most successful for constipation relief along with other nutritional and lifestyle changes.