Citrucel powder is a popular fiber supplement that people use to help relieve symptoms of constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system.

Citrucel powder is a nonallergenic form of fiber that can help relieve constipation. It comes from plant matter.

This article looks at what Citrucel powder is, its purpose, and how to take it safely. It also examines some potential risks, where to purchase it, and alternative options.

A spoon resting on Citrucel powder -1.Share on Pinterest
Stefano Madrigali/Getty Images

Citrucel is a brand of fiber supplement available in both powder and capsule forms.

It is an over-the-counter (OTC), nonprescription medication that can help individuals with digestive issues increase their daily fiber intake.

The goal of Citrucel powder is to treat constipation by making a person’s stool bulkier and softer. This aids in producing more comfortable and frequent bowel movements.

What is the active ingredient?

The active ingredient in Citrucel powder is methylcellulose, which is a nonallergenic fiber. Each teaspoon contains 2 grams of fiber.

Methylcellulose is a synthetic, water-soluble fiber derived from plant-based cellulose.

The package label lists its inactive ingredients. A sugar-free version is also available.

Methylcellulose is a bulk-forming laxative.

Bulk-forming laxatives work similarly to dietary fiber. They increase the bulk of the stool and help it retain fluid.

A person can take Citrucel powder by following these steps:

  1. Measure the dose: Start by taking the recommended dose once or twice daily. A person can find this information on the product label or as advised by a healthcare professional.
  2. Combine with water: It is best to mix Citrucel powder with at least 8 ounces (oz) of water or another beverage to avoid choking. They should stir until the powder fully dissolves and drink the solution promptly.
  3. Another glass of water: Adequate water intake is essential when using fiber supplements to ensure proper hydration and account for the extra fiber intake. Drinking another glass of water afterward may be helpful.

The dosage can vary based on a person’s age:

DoseSugar-free dose
Adults and children ages 12 years and olderStart with 1 heaping tablespoon (tbsp) mixed in 8 oz water.

A person can increase this dose by 1 tbsp at a time, if necessary, up to 3 times per day.
Start with 1 rounded tablespoon mixed in 8 oz water.

A person can increase this dose by 1 tbsp at a time, if necessary, up to 3 times per day.
Children 6–11 years of ageStart with 2.5 level teaspoons (tsp).

A person can increase this dose by 2.5 tsp at a time, up to 3 times per day.
Start with 2 level teaspoons (tsp).

A person can increase this dose by 2 tsp at a time, up to 3 times per day.

Parents, guardians, and caregivers should consult a doctor before giving this supplement to anyone under the age of 6 years.

Is it safe to take Citrucel every day?

A person can take Citrucel powder daily for up to 7 days. If a person is still constipated after a week, they should stop taking Citrucel powder and consult a medical professional.

If digestive issues persist or worsen, or an individual has an underlying medical condition, it is best to consult a healthcare professional.

They may recommend alterations to the Citrucel dosage or alternative approaches tailored to specific requirements.

Citrucel is available in both powder and capsule forms. Both the powder and capsule forms can take 12–72 hours to work.

The powder form offers versatility and easy blending with different liquids. It provides flexibility, as a person can easily adjust the dosage according to their individual needs. Some people, however, may find its taste or texture less appealing.

Capsules provide convenience and a tasteless experience. They are ideal for people who may not like the powder’s texture or flavor.

However, a person may need to take many capsules. As per the dosing instructions, the starting dose for those ages 12 years and above is two capsules. People can increase this dose as needed up to six times per day, with a maximum of 12 capsules per day.

The choice of powder or capsules depends on personal preference and an individual’s needs.

Citrucel and Metamucil are two widely recognized fiber supplements. Both are bulk-forming laxatives, so they work in the same way.

Citrucel’s active ingredient is methylcellulose. Metamucil’s active ingredient is psyllium husk.

The choice between Citrucel and Metamucil depends on specific digestive needs and individual fiber tolerance levels. A person can speak with a doctor or pharmacist to help select the best product for their needs.

Metamucil has a higher chance of causing gas compared with Citrucel. If a person wishes to take Metamucil, they can consider starting at a lower dosage to see how they react to it before increasing the dosage.

While Citrucel powder is typically safe — provided a person follows the directions — it can carry some risks and side effects.

Potential side effects include:

If side effects are severe or persistent, it is best to consult a healthcare professional.

Some people may have allergic reactions to methylcellulose or other Citrucel ingredients. If signs of an allergic reaction arise, it is best to stop using the product and seek medical attention. Allergic reactions may result in anaphylaxis, which is a medical emergency.

It is important to drink plenty of water when taking bulk-forming laxatives. This is because a lack of water can cause a bowel obstruction.

Scotland’s National Health Service notes that not all types of laxatives are suitable for everyone. Those with bowel conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, should consult a medical professional before taking Citrucel.

Citrucel powder is widely accessible over the counter (OTC) at pharmacies, grocery stores, and online retailers.

When purchasing Citrucel or any dietary supplement, it is crucial to purchase it from a reputable source to ensure product quality and safety

Always inspect the product’s expiration date and adhere to the storage instructions provided on the packaging.

Citrucel and Metamucil are not the only brand-name supplements to relieve constipation or digestive complications. Benefiber is an alternative option.

Benefiber is a supplement that only contains wheat germ. People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease should not use Benefiber unless directed by a doctor.

While supplements are a popular choice, alternative methods also exist to boost fiber intake and promote digestive health, including:

  • Dietary fiber: A person can focus on consuming fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  • Natural laxatives: Prunes, aloe vera juice, and flaxseed are natural remedies that can help relieve constipation.
  • Probiotics: Probiotic supplements or probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt and kefir, can support digestive health.
  • Prebiotics: Prebiotic supplements or prebiotic-rich foods, such as onions, leeks, or dandelion greens, can help relieve symptoms of constipation.

Citrucel powder is a supplement for aiding digestive health, particularly in individuals with constipation or other digestive concerns. When people use it according to guidelines, it is generally safe and well-tolerated.

However, it is crucial to seek guidance from a healthcare professional before taking any new dietary supplements, particularly alongside any underlying medical conditions or medication.

A person can use fiber supplements to complement a well-rounded, balanced diet, alongside fiber-rich foods.