Fybogel Mechanism of Action

ispaghula husk


RB (Health)


Zuellig Pharma
Full Prescribing Info
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Ispaghula (psylla seeds), Bulk producer. ATC Code: A06AC01.
Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: The active ingredient ispaghula husk consists of the episperm and collapsed adjacent layers removed from the seeds of Plantago ovata Forssk (Plantago ispaghula Roxb.). Ispaghula husk is particularly rich in alimentary fibres and mucilages, its mucilage content being higher than that of other Plantago species. Ispaghula husk is capable of absorbing up to 40 times its own weight in water. Ispaghula husk consists of 85% water-soluble fibre; it is partly fermentable (in vitro 72% unfermentable residue) and acts by hydration in the bowel.
Gut motility and transit rate can be modified by ispaghula husk through mechanical stimulation of the gut wall as a result of the increase in intestinal bulk by water and the decrease in viscosity of the luminal contents. When taken with a sufficient amount of liquid (at least 30 ml per 1 g of herbal substance) ispaghula husk produces an increased volume of intestinal contents due to its highly bulking properties and hence a stretch stimulus, which triggers defecation; at the same time the swollen mass of mucilage forms a lubricating layer, which makes the transit of intestinal contents easier.
Progress of action: ispaghula husk usually acts within 12 to 24 hours after single administration. Sometimes the maximum effect is reached after 2 to 3 days.
Pharmacokinetics: The material hydrates and swells to form amucilage because it is only partially solubilised. Polysaccharides, such as those which dietary fibres are made of, must be hydrolysed to monosaccharides before intestinal uptake can occur. The sugar residues of the xylan backbone and the side chains are joined by β-linkages, which cannot be broken by human digestive enzymes.
Less than 10% of the mucilage gets hydrolysed in the stomach, with formation of free arabinose. Intestinal absorption of the free arabinose is approximately 85% to 93%.
To varying degrees, dietary fibre is fermented by bacteria in the colon, resulting in production of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane, water, and short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed and brought into the hepatic circulation. In humans, such fibre reaches the large bowel in a highly polymerised form that is fermented to a limited extent, resulting in increased faecal concentration and excretion of short-chain fatty acids.
Toxicology: Pre-clinical Safety Data: In a study on fertility, embryo-foetal development and pre- and postnatal development (multigeneration study) ispaghula husk (0, 1, 2.5, or 5% (w/w) of the diet) was administered to rats continuously through two generations. For fertility and foetal development and teratogenesis the no-observed-adverse-effects-limit (NOAEL) was 5% of the diet, while for offspring growth and development the NOAEL was given with 1% of the diet based on reductions in pup weights.
The study on embryo-foetal development in rabbits (ispaghula husk as 0, 2.5, 5 or 10% (w/w) of diet) has to be considered as preliminary. Conclusions cannot be drawn.
The non-clinical data on toxicology of ispaghula husk preparations are incomplete, but available data indicate no signals of toxicological concern. Adequate tests on reproductive toxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity have not been performed.
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