Can Taking Miralax Everyday Be Harmful
Can Taking Miralax Everyday Be Harmful – MiraLAX is often not recommended for children because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve its use in children due to a lack of clinical trials. However, some randomized controlled trials have shown it to be safe and effective for occasional use in pediatrics, so doctors may prescribe it to treat constipation in children in some countries based on clinical guidelines. Children may experience pain, loss of appetite and constipation. Fewer than three bowel movements per week for several weeks is considered chronic constipation (1). Dietary changes and laxatives, such as Miralax, can be given to children with constipation. Read on to learn about the safety and side effects of Miralax for children.
MiraLAX is the brand name for the generic compound polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350). This substance belongs to the class of osmotic laxatives, which help soften stool by retaining water in the colon, increasing stool volume and triggering the defecation reflex (2).
Can Taking Miralax Everyday Be Harmful
PEG 3350, the drug component of MiraLAX, is an electrolyte-free solution; It is odorless and poses no risk of electrolyte imbalance. It is readily soluble and only a small amount is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract (3).
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Polyethylene glycol, the active ingredient in Miralax, is chemically derived but free of gluten, sugar, and preservatives (4).
According to a research paper published by Canadian Family Physician, MiraLAX’s active ingredient PEG 3350 is considered a safe and effective long-term laxative for the pediatric population. However, the study adds that little is known about the safety of this drug for children under two years of age (3).
It should be noted that the MiraLAX manufacturer only recommends it for children over 17 years of age. Use in children under 16 years of age (5) requires a physician’s advice.
Other studies (6) (7) confirm that PEG 3350 is safe for children under 18 months of age and for the relief of chronic constipation. However, in 2017, some families claimed that MiraLAX causes psychiatric disorders in children. This incident led to several petitions to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) asking them to evaluate the safety of Miralax for children (8).
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The USFDA then initiated a study at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Department of Gastroenterology to determine whether PEG 3350 or its components could cause neurological disorders in children.
The hospital said they are in the first phase of research. It further advises that parents should discuss the use of MiraLAX (9) with their child’s pediatrician until a conclusion is drawn regarding the effects of PEG 3350 on children.
Another research paper analyzed multiple bits of data, including the USFDA, Google Trends, and surveys of US pediatric gastroenterologists. The study found that caregiver-reported PEG was adverse, but added that it may have limitations such as over-reporting. It was not possible to determine whether the symptoms reported in the children were pre-existing or induced by Miralax. Researchers have also suggested that nonverbal behavioral changes in children may be mistaken for neuropsychiatric disorders.
The study acknowledges the limitations of the data sources. Because historical studies and anecdotal evidence are conflicting, the safety of Miralax remains in question until the CHOP study is completed. So talk to your pediatrician before using MiraLAX on your child.
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Evidence shows that PEG 3350 is safe for infants and children and does not cause an increase in glycol in the body. It also does not cause addiction or autism spectrum disorder (16).
If you notice your child’s constipation early, your pediatrician may ask you to try non-medical methods of constipation relief. However, if constipation is present, the child may be given a dose of Miralax followed by bowel lavage. You should follow your MiraLAX regimen as prescribed by your doctor. Thus, children may develop miralex when dietary changes do not work (11).
If your doctor has prescribed MiraLAX for your child, here are ways to use it.
Your doctor may prescribe a different dose or steps than those listed above in the MiraLAX package. Follow the dosage recommended by your doctor and give the prescribed dose to prevent overdose.
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Polyethylene glycol with electrolytes is used to empty the bowels before medical examinations and procedures such as colonoscopies (14) It is not used as a routine regimen for the treatment of constipation in infants and young children.
According to the University of Michigan Health System, MiraLAX may have the following side effects (15):
Although MiraLAX is sold without a prescription, it is best not to take the medicine without a doctor’s advice. Your pediatrician may ask about your child’s medical history before prescribing MiraLAX. However, ask your doctor about any special medical conditions or allergies before prescribing MiraLAX.
According to a constipation handout from Forest Hills Pediatric Associates (a pediatric home practice in Michigan), below are some non-drug ways to relieve mild to common constipation in various age groups.
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Teaching children to take the correct position in the toilet; That is, to relax the hips, the knees should be at hip level, with the feet flat on the floor or on the heels (17).
The above methods are not a substitute for MiraLAX and instead serve as an alternative. If your child has food allergies or is prone to allergies in general, talk to your doctor before giving any constipating foods.
MiraLAX must be prescribed by a physician. After using MiraLAX, it may take up to three days for a child’s bowel to clear. During this time, bowel movements can be frequent and unpredictable (11).
The dose of MiraLAX is based on the child’s age or weight (11) (18). Consult your doctor to determine the right dosage for your child.
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MiraLAX can be mixed with hot or cold beverages such as water, tea, coffee, iced coffee, orange juice, coconut water, smoothies, or seltzer (2).
MiraLAX for children is a laxative that is commonly used when a child is suffering from severe or chronic constipation. To treat constipation in children, you may need to take medication and make special dietary changes. Therefore, if you are thinking of giving MiraLAX to your child, consult your doctor to make sure it is safe for your child, and follow their instructions to avoid any side effects.
This post is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice. Do not use any medicine without talking to your doctor.
Dietary changes and drinking enough water can be enough to relieve constipation in children. Although laxatives are available without a prescription, they should be given to children only on the advice of a doctor. The following infographic lists laxatives that can be used in children.
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The articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our links include resources designated by authorities in relevant fields. You can learn more about the accuracy of the information we provide in our editorial policy.
3. Sean Chung et al., Polyethylene glycol 3350 for the treatment of constipation in children without electrolytes; National Center for Biotechnology Information
6. Bell EA, and Wall GC, Guidelines and use of polyethylene glycol 3350 in pediatric constipation therapy; National Center for Biotechnology Information
7. Michail S et al., Polyethylene glycol for constipation in children under eighteen months of age; National Center for Biotechnology Information
Geri Care Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Laxative, Mckesson Brand 5789604891
10. Sunny Z. Hussain, et al., Potential Neuropsychiatric Toxicity of Polyethylene Glycol: Role of Media, Internet, and Caregivers; Wiley Online Library
Dr. Richard Mario Lursche has 11 years of experience in childcare and wellness. After completing her postgraduate training in pediatrics, she completed her training in pediatric nutrition from Boston University School of Medicine (USA). He is a Distinguished Life Member of National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS), National Neonatology Forum (NNF) and Indian Academy of Paediatrics… More
Sreeja holds a Post Graduate Degree in Chemistry and a Diploma in Drug Regulatory Affairs from the University of Mumbai. Prior to joining, he worked as a research analyst in a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. His interest in the field of medical research fueled his interest in writing research-based articles. As a writer with more than two decades of experience, she aims to… More An Action News study made national headlines and highlighted parents’ concerns that over-the-counter drugs are making kids sick.
Since our report, we’ve heard from families across the country who are also reporting that their children have experienced neuropsychiatric problems and other troubling side effects after taking MiraLAX.
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Many parents come to us asking what to do and looking for answers, as some say their children have behavioral problems – from depression to anger, anxiety, and mood swings. – Experienced after MiraLAX was given off-label.
Now we have answers from the experts, including new information from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and resources parents can refer to.
“I will be very aggressive with myself
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