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Guar gum

What is it?

Guar Gum is an herbal medicine sometimes used to treat diabetes, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and to decrease cholesterol.

Other names for Guar Gum include: Cyamopsis Gum, Dietary Fiber, Guar Flour, Jaguar Gum, and Uni-Guar.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • Are taking medicine or are allergic (uh-ler-jik) to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or diet supplement)
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have difficulty swallowing
  • Have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Guar Gum you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Guar Gum. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Guar Gum without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Medicines used for diabetes to lower blood sugar, examples: acarbose (Precose(R)); acetohexamide (Dymelor(R)); chlorpropamide (Diabinese(R)); glimepiride (Amaryl(R)), glipizide (Glucotrol(R)); glyburide (DiaBeta(R), Glynase PresTab(R), Micronase(R), Glucovance(R)); insulin (Humalog(R), Humulin(R), Novolin(R)); metformin (Glucophage(R), Glucovance(R)); pioglitazone (Actos(R)); Replaginide (Prandin(R)); rosiglitazone (Avandia(R); tolazamide (Tolinase(R)); tolbutamide (Orinase(R))
  • Medicines used for birth control, examples: Ethinyl Estradiol/Desogestrel (Apri(R), Cyclessa(R), Desogen(R), Mircette(R), Ortho-Cept(R)); Ethinyl Estradiol/Ethynodiol Diacetate (Demulen(R), Zovia(R)); Ethinyl Estradiol/Levonorgestrel (Alesse(R), Levlen(R), Levora(R), Nordette(R), Tri-Levlen(R), Triphasil(R)); Ethinyl Estradiol/Norethindrone (Modicon(R), Norethin(R), Norinyl(R), Neocon(R), Ortho-Novum(R), Ovcon(R), Tri-Norinyl(R)), Ethinyl Estradiol/Norgestimate (Ortho Tri-Cyclen(R), Ortho-Cyclen(R)); Ethinyl Estradiol/Norgestrel (Lo/Ovral(R), Ovral(R)); Ethyinyl Estradiol/Norethindrone Acetate (Estrostep FE(R), Loestrin(R)); Ethinyl Estradiol/Drospirenone (Yasmin(R)), Ethinyl Estradiol/Norelgestromin (Ortho Evra(R)), Ethinyl Estradiol/Etonogestrel (Nuvaring(R))
  • Medicines used for infection, examples: Penicillin V (Veetids(R))
  • Alcohol
  • Calcium

Warnings:

  • Before taking Guar Gum, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have difficulty swallowing

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms. This may mean that you are allergic (uh-ler-jik) to the medicine.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Chest pain, difficulty swallowing, or vomiting (throwing up)
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or flatulence (passing gas)
  • Stomach pain, pressure, or you feel full

References:

1. Abramson EA & Arky RA: Role of beta-adrenergic receptors in counter regulation to insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Diabetes 1968; 17:141-146.

2. Anon: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 4th ed. Therapeutic Research Faculty, Stockton, CA; 2000.

3. Aro A, Uusitupa m, Voutilainen E et al: Improved diabetic control and hypocholesterolaemic effect induced by long-term dietary supplementation with guar gum in type 2 (insulin-independent) diabetes. Diabetologia 1981; 21:29-33.

4. Atkins TW, Al-Hussary NAJ & Taylor KG: The treatment of poorly controlled non-insulin-dependent diabetic subjets with granulated guar gum. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1987; 3:153-159.

5. Blake DE, Hamblett DJ, Frost PG et al: Wheat breas supplemented depolymerized guar gum reduces the plasma cholesterol concentration in hypercholesterolemic human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1997; 65(1):107-113.

6. Bressler R, Vargas-Cord M & Lebovitz HE: Tranylcypromine: a potent insulin secretagogue and hypolglycemic agent. Diabetes 1968; 17:617-624.

7. Gin H, Orgerie MB & Aubertin J: The influence of guar gum on absorption of metformin from the gut in healthy volunteers. Horm metabol Res 1989; 21:81-83.

8. Groop PH, Aro A, Stenman S et al: Long-term effects of guar gum in subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr 1993; 58(4):513-518.

9. Grupta A & Singh V: Study of effect of guar gum on long term glycemic control in patients of diabetes mellitus. JAPI 1988; 36(3):204-207.

10. Huupponen R, Seppala P & Iisalo E: Effect of guar gum, a fiber preparation, on digoxin and penicillin absorption in man. Eur J Clin Pharacol 1984; 26:279-281.

11. Huupponen R: The effect of guar gum on the acute metabolic response to glyburide. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1986; 54(1):137-140.

12. Kirsten R, Domning B, Nelson K et al: Long-term blood cholesterol-lowering effects of a dietary fiber supplement. Am J Prev Med 1999; 17(1):18-23.

13. Landin K, Holm G, Tengborn L et al: Guar gum improves insulin sensitivity, blood lipids, blood pressure, and fibrinolysis in healthy men. Am J Clin nutr 1992; 5696):1061-1065.

14. Mcguffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association s Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

15.Patrick PG, Gohman SM, Marx SC et al: Effect of supplements of partially hydrolyzed guar gum on the occurrence of constipation and use of laxative agents. J Am Diet Assoc 1998; 98(8):912-914.

16. Product Information: Levaquin®, levofloxacin. Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., Raritan, NJ; (PI revised 11/2000) reviewed 01/2001.

17. Salenius JP, Harju E, Jokela H et al: Long term effects of guar gum on lipid metabolism after carotid endarterectomy. BMJ 1995; 310(6972):95-96.

18. Shah PK, Lakhotia M, Purohit A et al: Modification in sucrose tolerance test with acarbose, guar gum, and their combination in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes. J Assoc Physicians India 1993; 41(11): 703-705.

19. Simons LA, Gyst S, Balasubramania S et al: Long-term treatment of hypercholesterolemia with a new palatable formulation of guar gum. Atherosclerosis 1982; 45:101-108.

20. Todd PA, Benfield P & Goa KL: Guar gum: a review of its pharmacological properties and use as a dietary adjunct in hypercholesterolemia. Drugs 190; 39(6):917-928.

21. Tredger J, Wright J & Marks V: the effect of guar gum on blood alcohol levels following gin and tonic consumption. Proc Nutr Soc 1979; 38(2):70A.

22. Tuomilehto J, Karttunen P, Vinni S et al: A double-blind evaluation of guar gum in patients with dyslipidemia, Human Nutr Clin Nutr 1983; 37C:109-116.

23. Tuomilehto J, Silvasti M, Aro A et al: Long term treatment of severe hypercholesterolemia with guar gum. Atherosclerosis 1988; 72:157-162.

24. Toumilehto J, Voutilainen E, Huttunen J et al: Effect of guar gum on body weight and serum lipids in hypercholesterolemic females. Acta Med Scand 1980; 208:45-48.

25. Uusitupa M, Siitonen O, Savolainen K et al: Metabolic and nutritional effects of long-term use of guar gum in the treatment of noninsulin-dependent diabetes of poor metabolic control. Am J Clin Nutr 1989; 49:345-351.

26. Vuorinen-Markkola H, Sinisal M & Koivisto VA: Guar gum in insulin-dependent diabetes: effects on glycemic control and serum lipoproteins. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 56(6):1056-1060.

27. Wirth A, Middelhoff G, Braeuning C et al: Treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia with a combination of bezafibrate and guar. Atherosclerosis 1982; 45:291-297.

28. Hupponen R: The effect of guar gum on the acute metabolic response to glyburide. Res Commun Clin Pharmacol 1985; 28:717-719.

29. Jenkins DJA, Hockaday TDR, Haworth R et al: Treatment of diabetes with guar gum. Lancet 1977; 2(8149): 779-780.

30. Sirtori CR, Francedchini G, Galli-Kienle M et al: Disposition of metformin in man. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1978; 24:683-693.

31. Uusitupa M, Sodervik H, Silvasti M et al: Effects of a gel forming dietary fiber, guar gum, on the absorption of glibenclamide and metabolic control and serum lipids in patients with non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1990; 28(4): 153-157.

32. Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, McIvor ME et al: Effect of guar gum on mineral balances in NIDDM adults. Diabetes Care 1989; 12(5): 357-364.

33. Gulliford MC, Pover GG, Bicknell EJ et al: Guar delays intestinal calcium absorption in man. Eur J Clin Nutr 1988; 42(5): 451-454.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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