Reviewed on 9/20/2021

What Is Methylcellulose Used For and How Does it Work?

Methylcellulose is used to treat constipation.

  • Methylcellulose is available over-the-counter (OTC) and as a generic.
  • Methylcellulose is available under the following different brand names: Citrucel.

What Are Dosages of Methylcellulose?

Dosages of Methylcellulose:


  • 500 mg


  • 2 g/scoop

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:


Adults and children 12 years and older:

  • 2 caplets up to 6 times/day; not to exceed 12 caplets/day; follow each dose with 8 oz of water
  • Alternatively, 1 heaping tablespoon (2 g) in 8 oz water once/day to once every 8 hours

Pediatric dose, children 6-12 years old:

  • 1 caplet up to 6 times/day; not to exceed 6 caplets/day
  • 1 g (½ tablespoon) in 8 oz of cold water; may increase to 1 tablespoon once every 8 hours

Children under 6 years: Safety and efficacy not established.


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What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Methylcellulose?

Side effects of Methylcellulose include:

  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Impaction
  • Excessive bowel activity

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Methylcellulose?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Mild interactions of methylcellulose include:
    • odium picosulfate

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Methylcellulose?


  • This medication contains methylcellulose. Do not take Citrucel if you are allergic to methylcellulose or any ingredients contained in this drug.
  • Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


Effects of Drug Abuse

No information is available.

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Methylcellulose?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Methylcellulose?"


  • No information is available.

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Methylcellulose is considered a supplement and not a drug. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant.
  • There are no data available on Methylcellulose use in lactating women. It is not absorbed systematically and is unlikely to pose a risk in breastfeeding. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Medscape. Methylcellulose.

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