Constipation is a troublesome health issue that puts a person in serious discomfort and uneasiness.
Symptoms of severe constipation such as cramping and abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and trouble with bowel movements are quite unbearable for the sufferer.
Laxatives like Miralax and Metamucil are some of the best OTC medications for constipation.
A first-time user of Miralax is eager to know ‘how long does it take for Miralax to work?’ The patient has a sense of urgency to get relief from constipation, so he looks forward to getting a fast result from Miralax.
Before we discuss ‘how fast Miralax works,’ let us be familiar with a few basic facts on this popular laxative.
Uses and Benefits of Miralax
Miralax is a very popular laxative used to remedy occasional constipation.
It loosens up the stool by retaining a considerably large amount of water in the stomach.
It is an osmotic-type laxative that helps to relieve constipation by promoting smooth and frequent bowel movements.
Miralax is an over-the-counter medication that can be procured without a doctor’s prescription.
Many people use it as a do-it-yourself medication for dealing with bloating, constipation, and stomach cramps.
Miralax can be used for bowel evacuation before colonoscopy in addition to relieving occasional constipation. It is also used as a colon cleanse supplement.
FAQs On MiraLax
It was in 1999 Braintree Laboratories first introduced Miralax as a prescription medicine for constipation in adults.
Having found polyethylene glycol 3350 was safe and effective for use, in 2006 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted permission to sell Miralax as an over-the-counter (OTC) medication for occasional constipation.
Since then, Miralax is the most popular anti-constipation medication used by thousands of people all over the world. Of course, polyethylene glycol 3350 is sold under several brand names.
The “3350” qualifier refers to the molecular weight of this particular variant of PEG.
Let us now address some of the commonly asked questions on Miralax.
How Does Miralax Work?
Polyethylene glycol is an osmotic laxative that causes a bulking effect in the colon by retaining water in the stomach. It binds water to the stool which results in the loosening of the stool. It also helps to increase the weight of the stool which forces a fecal evacuation.
Stimulant laxatives cause muscle contractions in the intestines forcing the evacuation of stool. Unlike the stimulant laxatives, Miralax does not quicken the transit time in the gastrointestinal tract.
Miralax does not cause a sudden urge to rush to the lavatory so you can take it without the fear that it might interrupt your day.
How To Use Miralax?
It is easy and comfortable to use MiraLax that comes in powder form with no taste and odor.
Take the recommended measure of this laxative in powder form using the cap of the bottle. Inside of the cap has lines indicating the amount of powder to be used per 1 dose.
Mix the powder into 4 to 8 ounces of hot or cold beverages like juice, coffee, tea, water, soda, or smoothies. Stir the mixture well and drink it right away.
What is the usual dosage of Miralax powder?
The recommended dosage of Miralax dosage per day is 17 grams (one capful) in 8 ounces of liquid. Doctors and manufacturers recommend only one dose of this laxative per day. Consume one dose per day to achieve the desired result.
When it is used for colonoscopy prep, you can use a higher dosage in conjunction with large volumes of water.
What is the dosage of Miralax for children (infants and kids)?
There are have been a lot of discussions on administering Miralax to children. Most physicians recommend Miralax for kids older than 6 months old.
Miralax dosage for kids varies according to body weight, and purpose of use.
- Children greater than 6 months of age: 0.5 to 1.5 g/kg daily (initial dose 0.5 g/kg; titrate to the effect)
- Maximum dose: 17 g/day
- Children greater than 3 years of age: 1 to 1.5 g/kg daily for 3 days
- Maximum dose: 100 g daily
- Children greater than 2 years of age: 1.5 g/kg/day
- Maximum dose: 100 g daily
What are the side effects of taking Miralax?
Miralax’s side effects are minimal. Most people who use this laxative do not experience any adverse effects on health.
However, overdose or regular use of Miralax for a long period can cause side effects on health.
Some of the common side effects of Miralax are:
- abdominal cramping,
- gas formation,
- stomach pain,
- persistent diarrhea,
- an excess number of bowel movements
- bloody stools,
- rectal bleeding.
If you experience any physical discomforts after using Miralax, you should promptly discuss the matter with your doctor.
In a few rare cases, some might experience allergic reactions after having Miralax. Such allergic reactions from this laxative include:
- swelling of rashes affected area,
- severe dizziness,
- breathing difficulties.
Miralax is safe to use due to the lack of serious side effects. The ingredients in this laxative are not absorbed by the body and do not cause tachyphylaxis (i.e., diminishing effects with overuse) as many stimulant laxatives do.
Does Miralax Cause Drug Interaction?
Some of the ingredients in Miralax may interact with other medications.
When your doctor recommends you have Miralax for constipation, you should inform the doctor of other prescription medicines that you are using.
Follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist on taking other medications along with this laxative.
Always keep a list of all your medications with you, and show the list to your pharmacist or doctor.
How Long Does It Take For Miralax To Work?
Patients using this laxative for the first time are eager to know how fast Miralax works.
It usually produces bowel movements in 1 to 3 days of use.
Most people get the desired result from Miralax after 12 hours of taking the first dose itself.
The speed at which the Miralax works depends on the lifestyle and diet habits of the individual. This laxative begins to take its effect in the intestine within a few hours after consuming the first dose.
Drinking enough water, having a more fiber-rich diet, and doing physical exercises can give a faster result from Miralax.
What are the diet and lifestyle modifications required for fast results with Miralax?
Patients suffering from constipation need to eat a minimum of 25 grams of soluble fiber per day. Some of the fiber-rich foods are cereals, fruits, and leafy vegetables.
Children suffering from constipation must be encouraged to drink about 35 to 55 ounces of water per day. Adults should drink about 60 to 70 ounces of water per day to ward off constipation.
Avoid having certain foods that have a reputation for being “binding” or constipating foods. Some of the common foods bad for constipation are dairy products, red meat, frozen foods, cookies, bananas, and fried foods.
Engaging in active physical exercises daily for 30 minutes to 1 hour is necessary for getting fast relief from constipation.
Precautions and Warning
If you are allergic to polyethylene glycol, this anti-constipation medication is not your cup of tea.
Some of the inactive ingredients in the product may cause allergic reactions or other health issues depending on your health conditions.
Laxatives like Miralax are not suitable for patients who suffer from certain intestinal or stomach problems like bowel obstruction or others.
Do not use this medication if you have health issues such as persistent nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or kidney diseases.
For children and the elderly, Miralax should be administered with caution as they are more vulnerable to its side effects.
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