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psyllium (cillium, naturacil)

available over the counter: yes

uses: to relieve constipation and diarrhea

mechanism of action: draws liquid into the intestines, forming a softer mass; stimulates urge to defacate

side effects
• common:
• less common: nausea, vomiting, partial intestinal obstruction, abdominal pain
• serious: difficulty breathing, intestinal blockage, rash, difficulty swallowing

concerns: do not take for more than one week, unless your doctor advises; do not take any other medication within 2 hours of taking psyllium; drink 6-8 glasses of water daily


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