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Movicol Sachets Summary
|Type of medicine||Osmotic laxative|
|Works by||Hydrates and softens hard stools by gently attracting water into the bowels through osmosis.|
|Active ingredient||Macrogol 3350 and electrolytes|
|Effective within||6 - 12 hours|
|Pack size||30 sachets|
|Recommended dosage||1 sachet, 1- 3 times a day|
|Use with alcohol||No known issues|
We stock 3 different variants of Movicol Sachets
What is Movicol and what is it used for?
Movicol is a laxative used to relieve constipation and extreme cases of constipation known as faecal impaction in adults and children over 12 years old.
Movicol contains the active ingredient macrogol 3350 which is an osmotic laxative. Osmotic laxatives work by forcing your poo to absorb more water, making it bigger, softer and easier to pass.
Is Movicol a laxative or a stool softener?
Movicol is a type of laxative known as an osmotic laxative. This means that it works by rehydrating hard stools, making them absorb more water from inside the bowel so they become softer. Movicol works in the same way as Laxido and CosmoCol.
Other medicines used to relieve constipation include:
- Stimulant laxatives (e.g. Senna or Dulcolax): these speed up your bowel movements by stimulating the nerves.
- Bulk-forming laxatives (e.g. Fybogel): these increase the size and weight of your stool to stimulate bowel movements.
For more information on laxatives and treatment options, please see our Advice for Constipation page.
Can you buy Movicol over the counter?
Movicol powder sachets are available online without a prescription at The Independent Pharmacy. Simply complete our short health questionnaire so that we can determine if Movicol is right for you.
What is constipation?
If you’re unable to poo as often as is normal for you, you’re likely suffering from constipation. Constipation is a common problem, and most people will experience it on occasion.
Diet and lifestyle factors can contribute heavily to constipation: due to this, it’s often possible to relieve constipation without any medication by making small habit changes. For more information on the causes of constipation (as well as diet and lifestyle suggestions), go to our Treatment Advice for Constipation page.
If you’ve tried making changes to your diet and lifestyle but you’re still constipated, using a laxative such as Movicol could help, but you should discuss your treatment options with a pharmacist or doctor before making any decisions.
If you’re constipated and dealing with any of the following symptoms, you should speak to a doctor as soon as possible. There may be a serious underlying issue (such as severe inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis):
- Feeling sick or being sick
- Having blood in your stool
- Unexpectedly losing weight
- Feeling bloated for long periods
- Being more tired than is normal for you
How does Movicol work?
Movicol contains the active ingredient of macrogol 3350, an osmotic laxative. Osmotic laxatives work by binding with water which is then absorbed into your stool. This process increases the water volume in your poo, softening it and making it bigger and easier to pass, reducing faecal impaction and relieving constipation.
When preparing your Movicol sachets, ensure that you’re mixing the contents with 125ml of water per sachet. The added water will be directly absorbed by your stool: this is necessary because you can’t rely on getting enough from your daily fluid intake. Since your level of hydration will have an effect, though, it’s important to drink lots of water while using Movicol.
For safety, follow our instructions on how to use Movicol as detailed in the directions section.
- Dissolve 1 sachet of Movicol in 125ml of water up to 3 times per day depending on the severity of your constipation.
- Before commencing treatment for faecal impaction, speak to a doctor to confirm your condition.
- Take 8 sachets per day, consuming all 8 within 6 hours but no more than 2 sachets per hour, for up to 3 days.
- Dissolve each sachet in 125ml of water.
For full details of how to use Movicol, read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly.
Movicol can be used by children and adults over the age of 12 years to treat constipation and faecal impaction.
Each sachet must be mixed with up to 125ml of water and drunk. You must make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration when taking Movicol.
What is the best time of day to take Movicol?
Most people will need to start by taking more than 1 Movicol sachet a day to treat constipation. It’s a good idea to spread out the doses: you could take one in the morning and another at night, for instance. If you’re taking 3 sachets per day, you can take one at noon.
If you’re using Movicol to treat faecal impaction, get clear advice from a doctor before commencing treatment for your condition. You’ll need to take 8 sachets per day for 3 consecutive days, and the 8 daily sachets must be consumed within a 6-hour period.
Movicol doesn’t need to be taken at a particular time of day, thankfully, so you can fit your doses around your schedule and your personal preferences.
How long does Movicol take to work?
Movicol powder sachets don’t work as quickly as stimulant laxatives such as Senna (which starts to work within 6-12 hours).
When taking Movicol as directed, most people will start to see their constipation improve within 1 to 3 days.
How long does Movicol stay in your system?
Some people may experience diarrhoea when taking Movicol, especially if they’re deliberately using large doses or have accidentally ingested too much. If you experience diarrhoea after using Movicol heavily, you should stop taking Movicol or reduce the number of sachets you’re ingesting until your poo solidifies (this may take a few days).
If you experience diarrhoea, drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. If your diarrhoea persists to the point that you feel worried, get advice from a doctor or pharmacist.
Long-term use of Movicol
For the treatment of constipation, Movicol is usually taken for 2 weeks or until stools are consistently soft and easy to pass.
If you continue to be affected by constipation after using Movicol for 14 consecutive days then you should seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist.
As with all laxatives, it isn’t advisable to use Movicol long-term. If you’re suffering from persistent constipation, however, you may be advised to repeat your 2-week treatment course or continue using Movicol while reducing your dose to 1 sachet per day.
- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/laxatives/#:~:text=Osmotic laxatives draw water from,or 3 days to work.
- Movicol Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/15033
For a full list of warnings and precautions associated with Movicol, please read the Patient Information Leaflet.
- Do not take Movicol if you have (or have had) any injuries affecting your bowels — such as obstructions or perforations — or severe inflammatory bowel disease.
- Speak to a doctor or pharmacist before taking Movicol if you have a heart condition or are currently taking any other medicines.
- Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while taking Movicol to avoid becoming dehydrated. The water used to make up Movicol is not absorbed by your body so it doesn’t count towards your daily fluid intake.
- Remember that each Movicol sachet contains 9.3% of an adult's recommended daily allowance of sodium (salt).
Movicol in pregnancy
Movicol is safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, but you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice before starting treatment, especially if you’re already taking other medicines.
Movicol for children
It’s possible to get Movicol to treat constipation in children under 12 years old, but it’s a prescription-only treatment so it’s necessary to consult a doctor or pharmacist first.
Movicol comes in powder sachets of 13.8g, and is available in the following flavours: plain, lemon and lime, and chocolate. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before using Movicol.
Each 13.8g sachet contains:
- Macrogol 3350 13.125g
- Sodium Chloride 0.3507g
- Sodium Bicarbonate 0.1785g
- Potassium Chloride 0.0466g
Lemon & Lime PIL: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/15033
Chocolate PIL: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.6377.pdf
Movicol side effects
For a full list of side effects associated with Movicol, please read the Patient Information Leaflet.
If you’re worried about any side effects or you experience an allergic reaction when taking Movicol, speak to a doctor straight away.
The most common side effects experienced when taking Movicol include:
- Stomach ache or indigestion
Reducing the daily dose of Movicol will usually reduce these side effects.
Movicol and weight loss
Movicol should not cause you to lose weight. If you experience excessive diarrhoea as a side effect of taking Movicol, stop your treatment. If your diarrhoea continues, speak to a GP or pharmacist.
Movicol, as with any other laxative, should not be taken as a way to lose weight. This can be damaging to your health. If you’re concerned about your weight and want help losing weight, seek advice from a doctor.
Movicol Sachets reviews
Movicol Sachets FAQs
Advice is not to drink alcohol while using movicol for constipation.
The effects of taking movicol can sometimes affect your concentration, though your judgement and motor skills will be unaffected.
Yes, but if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding, always take advice from your doctor before doing so.
Keep at room temperature and always away from children.