Reviewed on 6/28/2022

What Is Polycarbophil and How Does It Work?

Polycarbophil is an over-the-counter medication used to treat the symptoms of constipation. 

  • Polycarbophil is available under the following different brand names: FiberCon, Fiber Lax, Equalactin, FiberNorm, Mitrolan

What Are Dosages of Polycarbophil?

Adult and pediatric dosage


  • 625 mg

Tablet, chewable

  • 625 mg


Adult and geriatric dosage

  • 1250 mg with 8 oz of water orally once a day to every 6 hours; not to exceed 6 g /day

Pediatric dosage

  • Children below 6 years: Administer under physician supervision; 625 mg with 8 oz of water orally once a day or every 12 hours; not to exceed 1.25 g /day
  • Children above 6-12 years: Swallow 1 tab once a day or every 6 hours
  • Children above12 years: 1250 mg with 8 oz of water orally every 6 hours; not to exceed 6 g /day

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See “Dosages”


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What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Polycarbophil?

Common side effects of Polycarbophil include:

  • mild stomach pain;
  • bloating; or
  • gas.

Serious side effects of Polycarbophil include:

  • rash,
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat),
  • severe dizziness,
  • trouble breathing
  • severe stomach cramps
  • rectal bleeding

Rare side effects of Polycarbophil include:

  • none 

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors;
  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out.

This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What Other Drugs Interact with Polycarbophil?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, 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.

  • Polycarbophil has no noted severe interactions with any other drugs
  • Polycarbophil has no noted serious interactions with any other drugs
  • Polycarbophil has moderate interactions with the following drugs
  • Polycarbophil has minor interactions with the following drugs
    • sodium picosulfate

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drug interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all your products. Keep a list of all your medications with you and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Polycarbophil?


Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Polycarbophil?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Polycarbophil?”


  • Taking this product without adequate fluid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking; do not take this product if you have difficulty swallowing; if experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking this product, seek immediate medical attention
  • Ask a physician before using this product if experiencing abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, sudden change in bowel habits that lasts over 2 weeks
  • Ask a healthcare professional if taking any other drug; take the product 2 or more hours before or after other drugs; laxatives may affect how other drugs work
  • Not for use longer than 7 days unless directed by a physician
  • Stop use and ask a physician if rectal bleeding occurs or if fail to have a bowel movement after use of this or another laxative; it could be a sign of the serious condition
  • Keep out of reach of children; if overdose, get medical help or contact the poison control center right away

Pregnancy & Lactation

  • Pregnancy category is not available. not absorbed; safe to be administered in pregnancy
  • Lactation
    • No data in nursing women; not absorbed and should be safe to use in nursing women


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