You May Want to Avoid Taking Metamucil at This Time of Day

The popular fiber supplement can interfere with certain medications.


Feb. 15 2024, Updated 1:21 p.m. ET

Metamucil and fiber supplements on store shelves
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Metamucil, a fiber supplement of psyllium husk, is often a recommended supplement for those experiencing constipation; however, it can be taken by anyone looking to add more fiber to their diet, as well as provide a few other benefits.

The psyllium fiber in Metamucil can help improve digestion and cholesterol and even aid in appetite management.

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Metamucil comes in a few formats like powder, capsules, and gummies, and the manufacturer says you can take it safely up to three times a day. But you should talk to your doctor to make sure it's recommended for you and won't interfere with other medications.

All that said, taking Metamucil before bed could potentially pose problems for some people. Does it matter when you take a fiber supplement? With that being said, here are some things you should know before taking Metamucil before bed.

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High-fiber foods like beans can be part of a healthy diet, but Metamucil is a fiber supplement helping to bridge dietary shortcomings.

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Why is it bad to take Metamucil before bed?

Taking Metamucil before bed could be an issue if taken alongside certain medications, if you are not properly hydrated, or if your body is not used to consuming a lot of fiber, per Mount Sinai.

Although Metamucil is generally safe for most people to take daily, you'll want to start slow. The company recommends starting with one dose per day and possibly increasing to three daily doses at mealtimes. Metamucil doesn't say not to take it just before bed, but since it's best when taken with food, that could imply it's better to take it earlier.

If you are considering starting on the supplement before going to bed, there are a few precautions to consider, as detailed below.

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Metamucil could interfere with medications.

According to Mount Sinai, it is a general rule that you should avoid taking Metamucil at the same time as other medications during any point of the day, not just before bed. That being said, no matter what time you take your medications, it's generally recommended to time your Metamucil supplement one hour before, or two to four hours after — but, as always, check with your doctor on this.

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Metamucil is a fiber supplement known as psyllium, a soluble fiber that can help stool move through the body more easily. It is classified as a laxative and often prescribed to treat constipation. If medication and even vitamins or minerals are taken at the same time, they likely will not be properly absorbed and end up excreted, per

It is always a good idea to check with a doctor before starting on a supplement like Metamucil. However, according to Mount Sinai, some medications pose a higher risk of interactions and should not be mixed with Metamucil before speaking to a professional. These include certain antidepressants, diabetes medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, carbamazepine, lithium, and Digoxin.

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Metamucil could cause dehydration.

Other than medication inference, there are some other things to keep in mind. If you take Metamucil before bed and are not properly hydrated, you can become dehydrated during the night, per Marham. When taking Metamucil, it's recommended to stay hydrated throughout the day and take the supplement with a full glass of water.

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It's even possible to experience bowel obstruction when taking Metamucil, GoodRX notes. However, these side effects can often be avoided by following manufacturer instructions and taking Metamucil with plenty of water so it works properly.

Metamucil could cause stomach discomfort for some people.

According to Marham, a potential side effect of Metamucil is gas, bloating, and even soreness in the stomach. GoodRX adds that other potential side effects of taking Metamucil are nausea, cramps, and diarrhea, all of which could make sleep uncomfortable, depending on how quickly the product works.

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Metamucil can also potentially bulk up your stool, meaning taking your dose too close to when you go to sleep may be uncomfortable.

If you aren't used to consuming this much fiber, your body could take a while to get used to the supplement. If taken before bed, experiencing these symptoms during the night could result in a poor night's sleep and restlessness, per Nature Made.

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Taking Metamucil before bed can also have some benefits.

Although some people may warn you not to take your fiber too close to bedtime, Metamucil's two-week challenge encourages you to take the supplement whenever is most convenient, as long as you're consistent. However, you must also keep in mind that you should take Metamucil at least two hours before or after medications, not on an empty stomach, so plan your schedule accordingly.

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When should you take Metamucil?

The best time to take Metamucil is largely dependent on your individual lifestyle and needs. If you take your medications in the morning, it might be best to time your Metamucil for the evening, and vice versa, per Nature Made. According to Metamucil, the supplement can be taken safely at any time of day, as long as you follow the recommended fluid intake and do not take more than the recommended dosage.

Metamucil is a supplement, and as such, it should be used in addition to other healthy practices. For example, the FDA has ruled that psyllium husk, the active ingredient in Metamucil, may help lower cholesterol (and therefore the risk of heart disease) when you eat a low-cholesterol diet. Metamucil alone likely won't do the trick; a balanced diet and other healthy habits are important, too.

Overall, how you take Metamucil or any other fiber supplement is more important than the time of day. While you may prefer how you feel with a morning or afternoon dose rather than an evening dose, there's no official warning against using Metamucil before bed. The keys are incorporating a full glass of water with every dose and drinking enough water throughout your day. Taking Metamucil at the same time daily can also help regulate your body. But again, to be safe, it's always best to check with your physician on how Metamucil will work best in your body.

This article, originally published on Oct. 16, 2023, has been updated. Additional reporting by Eva Hagan.

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