MiraLAX is a medicine used for the short-term treatment of constipation. However, in some cases, it is used for the long-term (chronic) constipation. Sometimes, MiraLAX is also used for colonoscopy bowel preparation.
In most of the cases taking MiraLAX causes a bowel movement within one two three days of taking it. A study was conducted to test its effectiveness focused on people who had not more than two bowel movements a week. As a result, it was found that MiraLAX increases the number of bowel movements 24.5 a week as compared to 2.7 in people who took a placebo.
This was followed by another study that found MiraLAX was able to successfully treat around 52% of people with chronic constipation. You have to mix this flavorless powder with 4 to 8 ounces of water, juices, or any other liquid. This powder comes in single-serving packs or bottles.
MiraLAX for Kids and Babies
MiraLAX is approved by FDA for over-the-counter use in adults and teenagers aged 17 years above. It is also pretty effective for constipation treatment in younger children as well as in babies below 2 years of age.
As per the North American society of pediatric gastroenterology, MiraLAXis amongst the top choices for prevention and treatment of constipation in children. However, MiraLAX shouldn’t be taken without the direction of a pediatrician.
As stated above, MiraLAX is approved by FDA for over-the-counter use for the following purposes:
- MiraLAX for constipation
MiraLAX is FDA-approved for the treatment of short-term constipation along with certain other recommended uses.
It is typically used in adults and teenagers, typically 17 years and older. It is also used for constipation treatment in babies aged 2 years or younger.
If you have been taking MiraLAX, make sure you do not continue taking it for more than 7 days unless recommended by your doctor. This is because finding the cause of constipation is more important than the need for its treatment.
- MiraLAX for colonoscopy preparation
Your doctor may recommend taking MiraLAX for colonoscopy bowel prep. It is a procedure that is aimed to clear out the contents of your gastrointestinal tract before a colonoscopy.
While MiraLAX may be effective for this use, it is not as good as the other options.
- MiraLAX for IBS
MiraLAX is also used by individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who have constipation. It may help improve symptoms of constipation but hasn’t been able to improve the other symptoms of IBS, such as stomach pain.
- MiraLAX for Diverticulitis
There are some people with diverticulitis who also have constipation. If you are one of those people, you must speak with your doctor about it. You may be recommended to take MiraLAX or some other laxative options or some other treatments for constipation.
While some mild or serious side effects of MiraLAX are common among people who take it, some of the major ones are listed below:
- Diarrhea or loose stools
- Stomach pain
- Gas or flatulence
These side-effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. In case you experience some severe side effects that do not go away, you must talk to your doctor about it.
If you have a severe condition with any of the above common side-effects, you must see a doctor at the earliest. The following are the symptoms of some severe side effects:
In case of diarrhea, your body loses fluid and leads to a state of dehydration with the following symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- No tears while crying in children
- No wet diapers for several hours in children
While it is quite uncommon some people can become allergic to MiraLAX. Some of the symptoms of allergic reactions are mentioned below:
- Itchy skin
- Trouble breathing
- A runny nose
- Swollen throat tongue or lips
Some of the people who are recommended to take MiraLAX have bloating. A study found that approximately 3% of people who have been taking MiraLAX for the treatment of chronic constipation had the problem of bloating. MiraLAX is effective and really helps the problem of bloating go away when continuously used.
Similar to bloating some people who are taking MiraLAX have nausea. A study found that approximately 6% of people who have been taking money for the treatment of chronic constipation had nausea. MiraLAX is quite effective and really helps nausea go away when continuously used.
Some people also said that they had headaches while they were taking MiraLAX. However, MiraLAX being a cause of headaches is not clear.
- Weight gain
Some people also said that they put on weight while they were taking MiraLAX. However, MiraLAX being a cause of weight gain is not clear.
MiraLAX has the ability to interact with several other medications. It may cause wonder when interacts with fiber and certain other foods.
- MiraLAX and fiber
You must have heard fiber consumption helps digestion and prevents constipation in long term. Consumption of fiber-rich products is usually a choice that helps prevent and treat constipation.
When fiber alone is not able to prevent or treat constipation MiraLAX can be taken in conjunction with fiber to help constipation go away.
- MiraLAX and milk
You can always take MiraLAX mixed with milk. The minimum quantity of milk to be mixed with MiraLAX should be 4 to 8 ounces.
It is better to consult or speak with your doctor before taking MiraLAX especially when you have an existing health condition. MiraLAX may not be appropriate for people with the following health conditions:
- People with kidney disease
- People with irritable bowel syndrome
- People with stomach problems
- People with swallowing problems
The Bottom Line!
No matter what medication you are prescribed by a doctor or suggested by a pharmacist, you should always take no more than the recommended dose of it for desired results. Any existing health condition may lead to side effects or severe health problems if the experts’ recommendation is ignored.