Miralax Laxative: Weight Loss, Colonoscopy, Side Effects

What is MiraLax Laxative?

MiraLax is a brand-name for the generic drug polyethylene glycol 3350. It’s a popularly used laxative to treat constipation.

Taking laxatives helps bring water into the bowels, promoting the digestive system’s healthy functioning.

Miralax and other laxatives work by drawing water into the intestine.

Water retention in the bowels makes the stool softer, which relieves constipation.

In most cases, Miralax softens the stool and gives relief from constipation within 48 hours.

According to a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, polyethylene glycol (3350 plus electrolytes) was an effective treatment for adult constipation. It works best for IBS-C, which causes irregular bowel movements.

Miralax is used for treating occasional constipation or fewer than two bowel movements per week. It is also known as an osmotic type of laxative.

There are many laxatives like ClearLax, GaviLax, Galax, GlycoLax, PEG3350, SunMark, or ClearLax that can be used as substitutes for Miralax. The safest alternative is Metamucil, a psyllium fiber supplement that works as a bulk-forming laxative.

It is sold as an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine available without a prescription. According to some health reports, excessive laxative dependency can lead to many harmful side effects.

Does Miralax Help You Lose Weight?

There are many claims and counterclaims about using MiraLax for weight loss.

Some patients who regularly use it for constipation have reported losing many pounds within a few months.

According to Dr. Andrew Seibert, University of Louisville School of Medicine, “MiraLax (polyethylene glycol) does not work as a weight-loss medication. You will be causing yourself to have diarrhea for no good reason.”

Also, there is a misguided perception that laxatives help in the faster movement of foods through your digestive system, leading to the absorption of fewer calories.

It affects the large intestine and is not a safe medication that helps you lose weight.

Dr. Carrie Cannon, a family medicine expert at Baylor College of Medicine, Huston, Texas, says, “Miralax causing diarrhea, nausea, or stomach cramps could certainly cause unintentional weight loss.”

Dr. Cannon recommends giving up the use of Miralax if it is causing unintentional weight loss at an alarming rate. A better alternative to it is eating plenty of fiber, exercising, and drinking enough water to make bowel movements regular and smooth.

Instead, you may use a stool softener like Colace or psyllium like Metamucil.

It would help if you did not use MiraLax for weight loss, though it may cause unintentional weight loss for some.

Regular use of polyethylene glycol for a prolonged period can lead to serious health issues.

There are other healthy quick ways to lose weight. Miralax should be exclusively used to treat constipation.

Miralax Colon Cleanse and Colonoscopy

Through a bowel cleanse or colon hydrotherapy, toxins are flushed out of the gut.

This gut cleansing procedure keeps the body clean and promotes good health, wellness, and weight loss.

A thorough cleansing of the bowel is essential for a successful colonoscopy. Doctors examining your gut can get a better view of the digestive tract after cleansing the colon.

Laxatives like Miralax or other stool softeners are usually administered for bowel cleansing.

Detoxification of the colon removes wastes, toxins, and debris deposited on the large-intestinal walls.

To relieve constipation and cleanse the bowel, the Mayo Clinic recommends taking a laxative.

It can help loosen fecal matter and promote smooth and frequent bowel movements to relieve constipation. It is an effective short-term remedy that can be used as a colon detox.

It is easy to use Miralax for visceral cleansing. Take this oral laxative in the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Usually, 5-7 days of the colon cleansing process are recommended before the colonoscopy.

Take the recommended dosage of Miralax and add it to 8 ounces of liquid. Choose a beverage with Miralax, such as fruit juice, getaroid, vegetable juice, coffee, tea, warm water, smoothies, or soda.

Use the pre-measured line on the cap of the bottle indicating different dosages to take the recommended dose of Miralax.

Then, pour the Miralax powder from the bottle cap into the drink you want to drink. Stir it for a few minutes with a spoon before drinking.

Miralax Dosage

Miralax comes in powder form, which you can dissolve in any beverage. It goes well with hot and cold beverages or drinks like soda, water, tea, coffee, juice, smoothies, or coconut water.

Miralax dosage is marked on the bottle cap, which can hold up to 17 grams of laxative. The right dosage of Miralax for adults and teenagers is 17 grams, per the measurement given on the bottle cap. You should consume only one dose of laxatives per day.

Normally, doctors do not recommend continuous use of MiraLax for more than a week. Stop using this laxative as soon as you feel relieved of constipation.

It is important that you carefully follow the directions and guidelines given on the label of the bottle. You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using this laxative.

Miralax Dosage for Toddlers, Infants, and Kids 

A few recent studies are against the use of habit-forming laxatives by children for relieving constipation.

However, Miralax is liberally used for relieving constipation in toddlers, infants, and kids.

According to Steve J. Hodges, M.D., associate professor of pediatric urology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, PEG 3350 is safe for kids and adults.

PEG 3350 is safe for use in children in several studies.

Constipation is a more rampant health issue in children than in adults. Constipation is the most common cause of bladder and kidney infections in children.

Doctors typically turn to PEG 3350 or Miralax to ease constipation in toddlers and kids. It is easy to give to infants as it has no taste or odor. You can mix Miralax into any one of your child’s favorite beverages, and they typically won’t complain.

Miralax dosage for children or kids could be between 10 to 17 grams depending on the child’s health condition.

Serving laxatives like Miralax to infants or babies below the age of 1 year is not recommended. Use natural remedies to help babies with constipation, such as:

  • Switch up the bottle-fed milk with a different formula,
  • Feed them high-fiber foods,
  • Use pureed foods,
  • Increase your fluid intake,
  • Encourage babies to exercise,
  • Massage the stomach and lower abdomen,
  • Use a glycerin suppository.

How Often Can You Take Miralax?

For some reason, many people suffer chronic constipation for a long period.

Miralax is approved by the FDA and is one of the most commonly used medications for getting rid of constipation.

How long or how often should you take Miralax?

Using this over-the-counter laxative for 2 to 4 days is necessary to get rid of constipation. Most patients do experience smooth bowel movements within 2 days of taking Miralax.

Miralax should not be taken for more than one week at a time unless prescribed by a doctor. You should see a doctor if you’ve been taking this medicine regularly for a week and still have trouble going to the bathroom.

Avoid using OTC laxatives as much as possible. Drinking more water, eating more fiber and probiotic foods, and using herbal laxatives can help with occasional constipation.

If you always need a laxative to go to the bathroom, it can upset and hurt your digestive system.

Can You Use Miralax Every Day?

Miralax is a laxative used for occasional constipation. The word “occasional” itself implies that this laxative is occasionally used when you have constipation.

It would be best if you did not take MiraLax every day (365 days of the year).

According to official instructions from the Miralax company, ‘you can begin taking MiraLax at the first signs of constipation and continue taking it until you experience relief (up to 7 days).

You should only take it continuously for up to seven days.

Side Effects Of Miralax 

The effects of laxative abuse can cause dangerous side effects. Do not take more than the recommended laxative to relieve and prevent constipation.

Per the manufacturer’s instructions for Miralax, take only 17 grams of this laxative daily.

A MiraLax overdose can cause side effects such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased thirst
  • Hallucination
  • Seizure
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Causes eating disorders

Some OTC and prescription drugs can interact with Miralax.

Most pediatricians now recommend the continuous use of Miralax for dealing with constipation in kids and those under the age of 17.

Should You Miralax For Weight Loss?

Miralax is not to be used by patients who have allergic reactions to polyethylene glycol or suffer from kidney diseases.

Continuous use of stimulant laxatives can cause habit-forming effects and dependency on them.

Dehydration resulting from laxative abuse can lead to weakness, loss of appetite, tremors, fainting, and blurred vision.

Some physicians are concerned about the dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in the body caused by the continuous use of laxatives.

It is not meant for people who have a bowel obstruction. Symptoms of a bowel obstruction include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and an upset belly.

Weight loss with Miralax does happen, but using laxatives for weight loss is not recommended.

If you’re a Pregnant or breastfeeding woman talk to your doctor before using Miralax.

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