Date issued: May 2015
For review: May 2017
Ref: B-330/AC/Medicine/How to take Fybogel
Instruction for patients seen in the Pelvic Floor Clinic
What is Fybogel?
Fybogel is one of a group of drugs called bulk forming laxatives. It is a source of natural fibre which helps to regulate bowel function. These drugs are designed to attract water into your stools, making them softer and easier to pass, thus reducing constipation. As Fybogel absorbs water and makes the stool bulkier, it can be used to treat diarrhoea or very soft stool.
How does it improve bowel control?
Fybogel works by absorbing water in the bowel and so increasing the bulk of the stool. This helps regulate bowel movement. It also softens the stool, which makes them pass through the bowel more easily reducing straining.
As the stool becomes bulkier, it may become easier to control and this may help people who have had part of their bowel removed or who have leakage problems to pass stools.
What are the risks?
You should not take Fybogel if your doctor has told you that you have:
- An obstruction in your intestine (gut)
- A perforated gut wall
- Severe inflammatory bowel disease, like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or toxic megacolon.
- An allergy to any of the ingredients
It is important that you read the leaflet provided with the medication before taking it.
If you are pregnant or breast feeding, talk to your doctor before you take Fybogel.
The most commonly reported side effects with Fybogel are mild. Sometimes people have stomach ache or rumbles, or feel bloated or sick. Some people also get increased flatulence (wind). These symptoms usually settle within a few days as your body gets used to the increased fibre intake.
If any of the above are troublesome or last more than a few days, or if you experience any other undesirable effect that is not listed, tell your pharmacist or doctor.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of taking Fybogel are that the stools are softer and bulkier and so move more easily through the bowel. Taking Fybogel regularly prevents constipation. It can also treat loose stool by absorbing fluid and so help regulate bowel movements. As the stool is bulkier it makes it easier for the muscles in the back passage to control it. For this reason Fybogel can be used for people who have had part of their bowel removed and also those who suffer from leakage of stool.
What are the alternatives?
There are other medicines that have a similar effect on the bowel; these include Regulan® and Isogel®.
What dose do I take?
A suggested starting dose of Fybogel will have been discussed with you. It is usual to start with 1 sachet a day but some people will require a larger dose. People vary a lot in their response to Fybogel. It sometimes needs some experimentation to find the dose that will soften your bowels without giving you diarrhoea. It is usual to start on a low dose and build it up slowly over a few days so that you can judge how your body is responding. It is best to take Fybogel after meals but do not take it just before going to bed.
It is important to drink plenty while you are taking Fybogel. You should aim to drink at least 2 litres (about 8-10 cups) of fluid per day. Most sorts of drinks will do, but as a start, just try drinking a glass of water 3-4 times a day in addition to what you normally drink. Sometimes it may take a few days before you feel the full benefit from a bulk-forming laxative such as Fybogel.
Try to eat a balanced diet containing high-fibre foods such as wholemeal and whole-grain breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, brown rice and wholemeal pasta. If you are not used to a high-fibre diet, it may be best to increase the amount of fibre you eat gradually.
Keeping your body active will help you to keep the digestive system moving, so try to take some regular exercise.
How to mix
Pour the contents into a glass of water (about 125ml or quarter of a pint). Stir well until all the powder has dissolved and the Fybogel solution is clear or slightly hazy, and then drink it. You must take the medicine as soon as possible after preparing it.
Please read the information leaflet that comes with the Fybogel.
Any further questions?
If you have any questions you can contact the Pelvic Floor Nurse Specialist, Monday to Friday, 9-5pm on 01752-431166. Outside of these hours you may leave a message on this number. We will aim to answer your query within 48hours. Alternatively you can email your query to email@example.com