Miralax is a laxative that is often used to treat constipation. Is Miralax safe for kids? There are a few things to keep in mind. Miralax can cause dehydration, so it is important to ensure that your child drinks plenty of fluids. It is also important to follow the directions on the package carefully.
What is Miralax? Is Miralax Safe For Kids?
Miralax is an over-the-counter laxative available at your local pharmacy or drug shop. It does not need a prescription. It is often sold as a powder mixed with water, juice, or milk. Miralax is only approved for use in adults by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Miralax’s main constituent is polyethylene glycol 3350, often known as PEG. This molecule aids in the absorption of water by the digestive system. The water softens and expands excrement, making it simpler to go to the bathroom. Polyethylene glycol may also help you have more frequent bowel motions.
In comparison to other drugs and cures for constipation, polyethylene glycol is relatively new on the market. It has only been in use since the year 2000. This chemical is also included in over-the-counter laxatives such as Glyvolax and Restoralax.
Miralax Side Effects on Kids
The Miralax issue started in February 2017 when 6 ABC Action News reported that Philadelphia parent Jeanie Ward gave her 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter Nicole the laxative on a doctor’s suggestion, and Nicole’s demeanor altered dramatically within ten days. Ward described his symptoms as “near psychiatric occurrences involving paranoia, mood swings, anger, and fury.” “It was terrifying to witness my kid alter drastically and not return to normal.”
However, clinicians such as Steve J. Hodges, M.D., associate professor of pediatric urology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, have provided Miralax, also known as PEG 3350 to their teenage patients for years.
“Over 100 studies have demonstrated that PEG 3350 is safe to use in children,” Dr. Hodges explains. “However, I welcome any queries about the safety of this widely used laxative.”
Research on Miralax Safety For Kids
Jeanie Ward co-wrote and directed a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012, requesting a warning label and an inquiry into Miralax. In 2014, the FDA financed research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) after the agency’s studies revealed “small levels of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol”—the same components found in anti-freeze—in Miralax.
So far, the continuing research has discovered 167 incidences of serious side effects in children who used the laxative, including 37 youngsters who had neurological or mental problems.
According to the FDA, as of April 2018, the present labeling for PEG 3350 appropriately communicates its hazards, and no further warnings concerning neuropsychiatric problems in children are required. “We eagerly await the CHOP trial findings to better understand the benefits and hazards of using these medications in children,” the agency said. When the study’s findings are published, they will be made available to the FDA.
Experts such as David Bunkin, M.D., assistant professor of pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology at Mount Sinai in New York City, are optimistic that the CHOP trial will ultimately prove the laxative’s safety. While the FDA discovered tiny quantities of those two potentially dangerous compounds in batches of Miralax tested years ago, ownership of the medicine has since changed hands, and follow-up tests have not shown the substances, he told Parents.com.
“This medicine has been used safely in children for a long time with no known negative effects and is a medication we frequently use in our pediatric gastrointestinal specialist practice,” Dr. Bunkin said. “We continue to prescribe it in situations when diet modifications to treat constipation are ineffective or impossible to implement, and we believe it is likely safe to use in children.”
Common Dosing Recommendations
Many clinicians agree that giving Miralax to your kid is safe. The manufacturer’s website states that it is “for adults and children 17 years of age and above” and that youngsters 16 and under should visit a doctor.
If you’re 17 or older, the suggested daily dose is 17 grams of Miralax powder diluted in 4 to 8 ounces of a cold or warm liquid (like water, juice, or milk). The bottle has a handy measuring lid. According to the label, Miralax should not be taken for more than seven days.
Dosage recommendations for children vary greatly across clinics and physicians. The doses you may discover on the internet might be perplexing since they are frequently greater than the manufacturer advises for adults! It would help if you visited your child’s physician, the most knowledgeable about your child’s medical requirements.
Miralax is a medication, even though you don’t need a prescription for it. Polyethylene glycol is its major component (PEG). Excessive Miralax usage might result in the opposite consequences of constipation: runny stool and diarrhea. If you wish to give Miralax to your kid, consult with their physician to determine the appropriate dosage.
It usually works between 24 to 72 hours, according to the label. This is a long time to wait, particularly if your kid is in pain, but don’t give your child more than your doctor suggests.
PEG may cause allergic reactions in certain people. Though, this is quite unusual. An anaphylactic (severely allergic) response was documented in a single case study trusted Source, although only seven such instances have been published globally since 1990.
Among the symptoms of a strong allergic response are:
- Tingling in the arms or other areas
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
It’s worth noting that the Miralax manufacturer’s website includes an allergy warning.
Causes Of Constipation In Kids
Constipation may be caused by your child’s eating and toileting habits. Some youngsters are “potty-shy,” which means they either don’t want to sit on the toilet or are worried it will harm them. Your youngster may purposefully or unintentionally hold in their bowel motions.
Constipation in children might result from avoiding or delaying going to the restroom. Fussy eating habits may alter restroom habits as well. If your kid consumes a lot of processed foods or does not get enough fiber from fruits and vegetables, they may have a harder difficulty passing stools.
Constipation may also be caused or exacerbated by not drinking enough water. Your youngster will need to use the restroom less if they eat or drink too little.
Inform your physician if your kid suffers from constipation regularly. Children’s health conditions might occasionally cause unpleasant bowel motions. These are some examples:
- Underactive thyroid
- Digestive disease
- Changes in the size or shape of the intestines and anus
- Spinal cord problems
- Nerve problems
- Muscle disease
- Some medications
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Why is Miralax not good for kids?
However, one regularly given laxative medicine, MiraLAX, has sparked major parental concern due to fears that its main component, polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350), may cause tremors, and tics, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and hostility in children after usage.
How much Miralax Can you give a child?
For children aged 1 to 5 years, the initial Miralax dosage is one teaspoon daily. (For example, a three-year-old kid would get three tablespoons of Miralax.) This dosage may then be raised or decreased by a teaspoon every third day until the youngster has soft stools daily.
Does MiraLax work for impacted stool?
The patient’s size determines the volume and pace of oral lavage. Youssef and colleagues prescribe 1 to 1.5 g/kg/day of polyethylene glycol solution to treat childhood fecal impaction (PEG 3350, MiraLax).
How do you remove impacted stool from a child?
Your child’s doctor may recommend an enema to eliminate the affected feces. An enema is a liquid injected into your child’s rectum. It aids in the loosening of the firm, dry stool. Never give your kid an enema without first obtaining permission from your child’s healthcare practitioner.
Miralax is a medication that is used to treat constipation. It is safe for children to take Miralax, as it is not a narcotic and does not have any addictive properties. Miralax works by drawing water into the colon, making the stool softer and easier to pass.