Inadequate fiber consumption can lead to constipation and gastrointestinal discomfort. The recommended daily allowance of fiber is 25 g per day for women and 38 g for men, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic's website, Eat Right. Over-the-counter supplements such as FiberCon and Metamucil are available if you find yourself suffering from constipation or unable to consume an adequate amount of fiber in your diet. Consult your physician prior to incorporating any supplement to your diet, including FiberCon and Metamucil.
FiberCon is a capsule taken by mouth used to treat occasional constipation. FiberCon is a bulk forming laxative containing 625 mg of calcium polycarbophil in each capsule. Adults are advised by FiberCon.com to take two capsules up to four times per day for no longer than seven days. A bowel movement should occur 12 to 72 hours after the initial dose of FiberCon.
Metamucil offers two types of fiber supplements to aid in digestive regularity: one with psyllium fiber and another with inulin fiber. The inulin fiber Metamucil is a colorless, flavorless powder that can be added to any liquid food or beverage. Metamucil's psyllium fiber products include flavored powder to be mixed with beverages, capsules and wafers.The powder is available in pink lemonade, mixed berry and orange flavors. Both regular and sugar-free variates are available. The wafers are available in apple and cinnamon flavors.
FiberCon and Metamucil are both intended to relieve discomfort associated with constipation and produce a bowel movement. Both supplements are available other-the-counter and can be used for several days at a time. Use of these supplements is intended to supplement -- not replace -- a healthy, balanced diet consisting of adequate fiber consumption. These supplements are intended for teenagers and adults.
Metamucil can be used as an everyday supplement to increase your fiber intake, whereas FiberCon indicates it should only be used when constipation is present. FiberCon is available only in capsule form, whereas Metamucil is available in several different forms and flavors and may therefore be ideal for you if you dislike swallowing pills. FiberCon intends to relieve constipation, whereas Metamucil offers a capsule with calcium and products with psyllium fiber, which could help reduce your cholesterol levels, says Metamucil.
Both FiberCon and Metamucil have potential side effects. Each product could cause bloating, gas or feeling of fullness. You could also experience bowel impaction. FiberCon could also cause vomiting, chest pain or rectal bleeding. Other side effects of Metamucil include shortness of breath, chest pain or skin rashes.
- FiberCon: FiberCon Labeling
- Metamucil: Metamucil Fiber Products
- “Contemporary Nutrition”; Gordon M. Wardlaw, et al.; 2007
- Eat Right; Health Implications of Dietary Fiber; Oct. 2008
- Drugs.com: FiberCon Side Effects in Detail
- Drugs.com: Metamucil Side Effects in Detail