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Polycarbophil is used for the treatment of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (disorder of the large intestine that causes recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation) and diarrhea.

How it works

Polycarbophil belongs to a class of drugs called bulk-forming laxatives. It acts by increasing the water content of stool in the intestine, making the stool softer and easing its movement.

Common side effects

Flatulence, Stomach pain


Expert advice

  • Drink plenty of water while taking polycarbophil as insufficient water intake may lead to chocking, especially in elderly. 
  • Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, intestinal blockage, appendicitis, a history of rectal bleeding, if the constipation has been lasting for more than one week, high calcium levels and kidney disease.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of chest pain, vomiting, trouble while swallowing, or trouble while breathing after taking this medicine.
  • Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after three days of therapy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take if allergic to polycarbophil, sodium lauryl sulfate, mineral oils, povidone or any of its ingredients.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is polycarbophil safe?
Polycarbophil is safe when used at prescribed dose and duration as recommended doctor. 
Q. Is calcium polycarbophil a soluble fiber?
Polycarbophil is insoluble in water.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)