Veterinary Drug Handbook (VDH) is the reference veterinarians turn to when they want an independent source of information on the drugs that are used in veterinary medicine today.


Chemistry - Psyllium is obtained from the ripe seeds of varieties of Plantago species. The seedcoating is high in content of hemicellulose mucillages which absorb and swell in the presence ofwater.

Storage, Stability, Compatibility

Store psyllium products in tightly closed containers; protectfrom excess moisture or humidity.


By swelling after absorbing water, psyllium increases bulk in the intestine and isbelieved to induce peristalsis and decrease intestinal transit time. In the treatment of sand colic inhorses, psyllium is thought to help collect sand and to help lubricate its passage through the GItract.
Uses, Indications - Bulk forming laxatives are used in patients where constipation is a result a toolittle fiber in their diets or when straining to defecate may be deleterious. Psyllium is considered tobe the laxative of choice in the treatment and prevention of sand colic in horses.
Psyllium has also been used to increase stool consistency in patients with chronic, watery diarrhea.
The total amount of water in the stool remains unchanged.


Psyllium is not absorbed when administered orally. Laxative action may takeup to 72 hours to occur.
Contraindications/Precautions - Bulk-forming laxatives should not be used in cases whereprompt intestinal evacuation is required, or when fecal impaction (no feces being passed) or intestinal obstruction is present.

Adverse Effects, Warnings

With the exception of increased flatulence, psyllium very rarelyproduces any adverse reactions if adequate water is given or is available to the patient. If insufficientliquid is given, there is an increased possibility of esophogeal or bowel obstruction occurring.
Overdosage - If administered with sufficient liquid, psyllium overdose should cause only an increased amount of soft or loose stools.

Drug Interactions

Because the potential exists for bulk-forming laxatives to bind digoxin, salicylates and nitrofurantoin, it is recommended that bulk-forming laxatives be administered atleast 3 hours apart from these drugs.

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