What is Miralax and When You Should Use It

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Here on metamuciladvisor.com we publish reviews of various dietary fiber products such as metamucil, benefiber or citrucel.  If you are a regular reader of this website you may be aware how important it is for us to take dietary fiber regularly.  But it is also true that most people start taking dietary fiber supplement when they face a very common problem.  Yes you guessed it right.  This problem is bowel irregularity and it is commonly known as constipation.

What is Miralax?

So it brings us to the question – What is Miralax.  Miralax is a laxative which is marketed with the tagline “Gentle constipation relief”.  This product is marketed by Bayer which is a well known brand.  The main purpose of Miralax is to help you get rid of constipation.  Miralax is a laxative which helps you in having regular bowel movements.

MiraLAX® laxative is available over the counter, without a prescription, for the treatment of occasional constipation. You can find it in the laxative aisle in all food, drug and mass retailers.

How is Miralax different Compared to Dulcolax and Senokot>

Dulcolax and Senokot are also laxative but they act but stimulating the nerves in the intestinal walls to start the peristaltic movements.  Miralax on the other hand is a stool softener which will ensure that there is enough water retained in your stool so that it does not become hard.  This will make the stool easier for you to pass.  Miralax is a Osmotic laxative which works with the water in your body to make the stool soft.

Is Miralax a Fiber Supplement?

Unlike metamucil or benefiber, Miralax is not a dietary fiber supplement.   Miralax is a stool softener and its purpose is to help you ease constipation problem.  On the other hand dietary fiber supplement products have other health benefits also apart from relief from constipation.  Some benefits of dietary fiber supplements are blood sugar control, benefits in heart diseases and improvement in digestive health.

What are the ingredients in Miralax?

Polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350) is the active ingredient in Miralax.  This drug works by bringing water into the bowels, which helps keep the digestive system regular.  FDA has not recommended long term use of this drug.

When Should You use Miralax?

You should use Miralax when you want to get rid of constipation.  Miralax is also one of the most frequently prescribed product before undergoing colonoscopy.  This ensures that your colon is clear and clean for the procedure.

As per miralax website taking miralax instead of fiber supplements for constipation means that you may not have to deal with the side effects of fiber supplement.  That means that you will not have to deal with side effects such as gas, bloating, cramping or urgency.  Your constipation relief is almost going to be predictable.

However as per rxlist there can several side effects of taking Miralax including –

  • nausea,
  • abdominal cramping,
  • bloating,
  • upset stomach,
  • gas,
  • dizziness, or
  • increased sweating.

Apart from above remember that you may have loose, watery or more frequent stools as some possible side effects

How should you take Miralax?

MiraLAX® easily dissolves in four to eight ounces of water, fruit juice, or any other beverages. And each bottle cap is a measuring device that indicates one 17g dose. Single-dose packets of MiraLAX® are also available.

Can Children Take Miralax?

While it’s widely believed that very little PEG 3350 is absorbed into the intestines, there is little data on its absorption in children, especially the very young and chronically constipated, according to the FDA.

Also, the FDA has received some reports of tremors, tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior in youngsters taking laxatives with PEG 3350. It’s not clear whether these problems are caused by the laxatives, The Times reported.  Hence consult your doctor before you give Miralax to your child.



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