Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that treat occasional constipation and restore regularity. Psyllium is also available as a dietary supplement. It may be written as psyllium or psyllium husk, but it is the same ingredient. Psyllium can be found in OTC laxative powders, pills, and wafers.
When used as an OTC laxative medicine, psyllium is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label. It is important to drink plenty of liquid when taking an OTC medicine containing psyllium. Taking a psyllium laxative without adequate fluid may cause the throat or esophagus to swell and choking may occur. If you develop chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing or breathing after taking the medicine, get immediate medical attention.