What is Normacol?
Normacol is a type of medicine known as a bulk-forming laxative. These medicines swell when they come into contact with fluids and work by increasing the volume of the gut contents. This stimulates the muscular movement of the gut, which helps to move the stools through the intestines. Normacol contains the active ingredient sterculia: finely ground fibres and dried vegetable gum from the karaya tree.
In addition to Normacol, there is also Normacol Plus. Normacol Plus contains two active ingredients, sterculia and frangula. Frangula is a stimulant laxative that works by stimulating the intestinal wall, causing the muscles in the large intestine to contract more often and with increased force. Normacol Plus thus relieves constipation extra fast.
What is Normacol used for?
Normacol is used to treat constipation, a condition in which bowel emptying occurs infrequently or in which the stools are dry, hard and difficult to pass. Constipation can cause haemorrhoids due to straining. Constipation is a common condition and can be caused by a number of things, including:
- Lack of exercise;
- Diet or lifestyle factors (inadequate fibre in the daily diet, insufficient fluids);
- Use of certain medicines.
Normacol increases the volume and softness of stool, making it easier to pass.
How to use Normacol
Normacol consists of granules that should be swallowed whole without chewing, preferably after meals. Do not take Normacol just before you go to bed or when you are lying down. Make sure to drink plenty of water to wash the granules down, and continue to drink plenty of fluids (two litres a day) while you are using the medicine, as otherwise it may cause a blockage in the food pipe or gut.
Normacol comes in sachets or as loose granules. Unless otherwise prescribed by the doctor, the usual dose for adults and children aged 12 and above is:
- One sachet, or one to two level measures, to be taken twice daily after meals.
Half a dose is recommended for children aged 6 to 12. Not to be used in children under 6 years of age. Be sure to read the package leaflet before you start using this medicine. The duration of treatment is decided by the doctor. Always follow the prescription exactly - never take more or less than the doctor recommends.
Normacol generally has few side effects, but in rare cases it has been known to cause:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach ache, bloating, nausea and flatulence. These symptoms generally disappear after several days of treatment.
See package leaflet for a complete list of side effects.
When not to use Normacol
Normacol is not suitable for everyone. You should not use this laxative if:
- you are allergic to sterculia or frangula (Normacol Plus);
- you have a narrowing or blockage in the intestine or another severe gastrointestinal disease.
See package leaflet for more information about contraindications.
Normacol should only be used with the doctor’s approval if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
There are no known interactions between alcohol or specific foods and Normacol. Normacol does not impair your ability to drive safely.