Methylcellulose is a compound used as a bulk forming laxative and is not an approved medication.

Brand Names
Generic Name
DrugBank Accession Number

Methyl cellulose polymer consisting of numerous linked glucose molecules used as a stabiliser, thickener and emulsifier for foodstuffs and cosmetics. The Degree of Substitution (DS) of a given form of methyl cellulose is defined as the average number of substituted hydroxyl groups per glucose with a theoretical maximum of 3, however more typical values are 1.3 2.6. Methyl cellulose is a hydrophilic white powder in pure form and dissolves in cold (but not in hot) water, forming a clear viscous solution or gel. It is available under a variety of trade names as a treatment for constipation. Like cellulose, it is not digestible, not toxic, and not allergenic

Small Molecule
  • Cellulose methyl
  • cellulose methyl ether
  • Cellulose methylate
  • Methyl cellulose
  • methylated cellulose
  • Methylcellulose
  • Methylcellulosum
  • Metilcelulosa
External IDs
  • E461



Solutions containing methyl cellulose are used as substitute for tears or saliva if the natural production of these fluids is disturbed. It is also used or constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome. Used in the manufacture of capsules in nutritional supplements. Its edible and nontoxic properties provide a vegetarian alternative to the use of gelatin.

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Associated Conditions
Indication TypeIndicationCombined Product DetailsApproval LevelAge GroupPatient CharacteristicsDose Form
Treatment ofConstipation••• •••
Used in combination to treatDry eye syndrome (des)Combination Product in combination with: Benzalkonium (DB11105)••• ••••••••••• • •••••
Associated Therapies
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It increases the bulk in your stool, an effect that helps to cause movement of the intestines. It also works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making the stool softer and easier to pass.

Mechanism of action

Methylcellulose absorbs water in the gastrointestinal lumen thereby increasing the bulk of the stool. This leads to distension and stimulation of peristalsis. The ability of methylcellulose to absorb water may contribute to its efficacy in the management of diarrhea by once again increasing the bulk and consistency of the stool.


Cellulose derivatives considered in this report are virtually unabsorbed and little or no degradation of absorbed and little or no degradation of absorbable products occurs in the human digestive tract. In humans, virtually 100 percent of orally ingested methyl cellulose can be recovered in the feces withihn four days, indicating that absorption does not occur.

Volume of distribution

accumulation in liver, spleen, lymph nodes, kidney, and vascular walls.

Protein binding

Not Available


Reported that when methylcellulose was given iv to dog and rabbit , aside from effect upon circulating blood, inability of body to degrade substance led to its retention & accumulation in liver, spleen, lymph nodes, kidney, and vascular walls.

Route of elimination

When swallowed they are not absorbed to any appreciable degree and appear unchanged in feces.


4.2 minutes


Not Available

Adverse Effects
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Organism: Mouse Test type: LD50 Route : Intraperitoneal Reported Dose: 275gm/kg ( 275000mg/kg) Toxic Effect: Details of toxic effects not reported other than lethal dose value

Organism: Mouse Test type: LDLo Route : Intravenous Reported Dose: 1gm/kg ( 1000mg/kg) Toxic Effect: Details of toxic effects not reported other than lethal dose value

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
AcetazolamideThe risk or severity of dehydration can be increased when Acetazolamide is combined with Methylcellulose.
AclidiniumThe therapeutic efficacy of Methylcellulose can be decreased when used in combination with Aclidinium.
AlfentanilThe therapeutic efficacy of Methylcellulose can be decreased when used in combination with Alfentanil.
AlloinThe risk or severity of adverse effects can be increased when Methylcellulose is combined with Alloin.
AmantadineThe therapeutic efficacy of Methylcellulose can be decreased when used in combination with Amantadine.
Food Interactions
  • Take with a full glass of water.


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Product Ingredients
IngredientUNIICASInChI Key
Methylcellulose (100 MPa.s)4GFU244C4J9004-67-5Not applicable
Methylcellulose (15 MPa.s)NPU9M2E6L89004-67-5Not applicable
Methylcellulose (1500 MPa.s)Z944H5SN0H9004-67-5Not applicable
Methylcellulose (25 MPa.s)BI55GG2WLI9004-67-5Not applicable
Methylcellulose (400 MPa.s)O0GN6F9B2Y9004-67-5Not applicable
Methylcellulose (4000 MPa.s)MRJ667KA5E9004-67-5Not applicable
Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Best Choice Fiber TherapyTablet500 mg/1OralBest Choice (Valu Merchandisers Company)2019-04-19Not applicableUS flag
CDMA Fiber TherapyTablet500 mg/1OralChain Drug Marketing Association2019-04-19Not applicableUS flag
CitrucelPowder, for solution2 g/19gOralGlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Holdings (US) LLC2010-09-16Not applicableUS flag
CitrucelPowder, for solution2 g/10.2gOralGlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Holdings (US) LLC2010-09-16Not applicableUS flag
CitrucelTablet500 mg/1OralGlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Holdings (US) LLC2010-02-01Not applicableUS flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Slim-mint GumMethylcellulose (44 mg / gum) + Benzocaine (4 mg / gum)Gum, chewingOralStella Pharmaceutical Canada Inc.1978-12-311998-08-13Canada flag


ATC Codes
A06AC06 — Methylcellulose
Drug Categories
Not classified
Affected organisms
Not Available

Chemical Identifiers

Not Available
CAS number


General References
  1. HMDB [Link]
  2. FDA [Link]
  3. Toxnet [Link]
  4. ChemIDplus [Link]
  5. Webmd [Link]
PubChem Substance

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
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PhaseStatusPurposeConditionsCountStart DateWhy Stopped100+ additional columns
4CompletedTreatmentAllergic Conjunctivitis (AC)2somestatusstop reasonjust information to hide
4CompletedTreatmentDry Eyes1somestatusstop reasonjust information to hide
4CompletedTreatmentIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)1somestatusstop reasonjust information to hide
4CompletedTreatmentOphthalmopathy , Lacrimal System1somestatusstop reasonjust information to hide
4CompletedTreatmentPeriodontal Disease1somestatusstop reasonjust information to hide


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage Forms
Powder, for solutionOral2 g/10.2g
Powder, for solutionOral2 g/19g
SolutionOral1.8 %
TabletOral500 mg/1
Solution / dropsOphthalmic
Solution / dropsOphthalmic10 mg/15mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1 %
PowderOral2 g / 19 g
PowderOral2 g / 10.2 g
TabletOral500 mg
Gum, chewingOral
Not Available
Not Available


Not Available
Experimental Properties
Not Available
Predicted Properties
Not Available
Predicted ADMET Features
Not Available


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
Not Available
Chromatographic Properties
Collision Cross Sections (CCS)
Not Available

Drug created at December 03, 2015 16:51 / Updated at July 19, 2024 07:26