July 24, 2016

Agar

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How does Agar work?

Agar contains a gel-like substance that bulks up in the gut. This stimulates the intestines and creates a bowel movement. That's why agar is commonly used as a laxative.

Agar's bulking effect also explains its use for weight loss. Agar tends to make people feel full, so they might stop eating earlier than they otherwise would. Some people think this reaction will lead to weight loss. But so far, there is no reliable scientific evidence that supports this weight loss theory.

Are there safety concerns?

Agar is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth with at least one 8-ounce glass of water. If it is not taken with enough water, agar can swell and block the esophagus or bowel. Immediate medical attention is necessary if chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing or breathing occurs after taking agar. In some people, agar may also raise cholesterol.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Agar is POSSIBLY SAFE when given by mouth to infants for a short period of time.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking agar if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bowel blockage (obstruction): Agar might make bowel obstruction worse, especially if it isn't taken with enough water or other liquid. Get medical advice before taking agar if you have a bowel obstruction.

Trouble swallowing: Agar might swell up and block the eating tube (esophagus) if it isn't taken with enough water or other liquid. This can be especially dangerous for someone who has trouble swallowing. Get medical advice before taking agar if you have a swallowing problem.

Colon cancer: There is some concern that eating a certain type of dietary fiber, such agar, might increase the risk of developing colon tumors. Get medical advice before taking agar if you have a history of or are at risk for colon cancer.


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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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