Should You Avoid Psyllium While taking Antidepressants?

Send to Kindle

Psyllium is a natural source of dietary fiber, soluble fiber in particular. It is derived from the plant named Plantago ovate. It is usually used to prevent both constipation and diarrhea in adults and children both. It also helps reduce blood glucose and cholesterol levels, since the soluble fiber absorbs these and passes it out with the stool.  One of the most popular brands of Psyllium is Metamucil. However, this absorption power of soluble fiber sometimes interferes with other medicinal absorption.

Psyllium does more good to the body than harm and usually has no major side-effects of its own. However, certain medications such as antidepressants, aspirins and epileptic seizure medicines have trouble being absorbed by the body in the presence of fiber. Thus the purpose of the medicines is not achieved. Fiber also absorbs blood sugar; therefore the amount of insulin intake ought to be adjusted.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, psyllium is proven to affect anti-depressant medicines. Antidepressants are drugs that are used to treat clinical depression and conditions that include depression as an element, such as bipolar disorder. These drugs help the secretion of some brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals have been effectively verified to brighten the patient’s mood, thus reducing depression.

Tricyclic antidepressants, also known as TCAs, are some of the primarily used antidepressants prescribed upon diagnosis. These drugs have lately been replaced by one other kind of medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors or (SSRIs). These are a newer form of antidepressant. These drugs work by changing the amount of the chemicals in the brain called serotonin and norepinephrine. Fiber may reduce the level of these medicines in the blood and also efficiency of these different antidepressants. Fiber tends to absorb those first and push them out of the body along with the waste materials.

Some Tricyclic Antidepressants













Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs are









Psyllium During DepressionTo prevent this imbalance of absorption and potential damage to either treatment of depression or gastrointestinal, the timing should be maintained. It is better to take the psyllium at least an hour before the antidepressants.

That way the body gets enough time to absorb and make use of the medication before it is ready for the fiber. However, it is advisable to contact your doctor before making any adjustment to the antidepressant and Psyllium intake.

If you plan to take Psyllium, it is always better to talk to your doctor in case you are taking medication for Depression.  You doctor can suggest the right thing to do in this case so that your treatment does not get affected.

Send to Kindle
Back to Top