What is MiraLax?
MiraLax is the brand name for the generic drug polyethylene glycol 3350. It is a popularly used laxative to treat constipation.
This laxative helps to bring water into the bowels to promote healthy functioning of digestive system. Water retention in the bowels makes the stool softer to relieve constipation.
In most cases, Miralax 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 constipation for adults. It works best for IBS-C bowel syndrome that causes irregularity in bowel movements.
Miralax is used for treating occasional constipation or irregular bowel movements. It is also known as an osmotic-type laxative.
Substitute products for Miralax are ClearLax, GaviLax, Gialax, GlycoLax, PEG3350, SunMark or ClearLax.
MiraLax is sold as an over-the-counter medicine available without a prescription. According to some of the health reports reckless use of this medication can do much harm than good.
MiraLax Weight Loss
There are many claims and counter-claims on using MiraLax for weight loss.
Some of the patients who regularly used MiraLax for constipation have reported losing several pounds of weight 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.”
It is not a safe medication for weight loss.
Dr. Carrie Cannon, a family medicine expert at Baylor College of Medicine, Huston, Texas says, “Miralax (polyethylene glycol) causing diarrhea, nausea, or stomach cramps could certainly cause unintentional weight loss.”
Dr. Cannon recommends giving up the use of MiraLax (polyethylene glycol) if it is causing unintentional weight loss at an alarming rate. A better alternative to MiraLax is eating plenty of fiber, exercising and drinking enough water to make the bowel movement regular and smooth.
Instead of MiraLax, you may use a stool softener like Colace or psyllium like Metamucil.
You should 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.
Miralax Colon Cleanse and Colonoscopy
Through the process of colon cleanse or colon hydrotherapy toxins are flushed out of the colon.
Colon cleanse procedure not only keeps the body clean but also promotes good health, wellness, and weight loss.
A thorough cleansing of the bowel or colon is essential for a successful colonoscopy. Doctors examining your colon can get a better view of the digestive tract after the cleansing of the colon.
Using laxative like Miralax or using other stool softeners is usually administered for colon cleansing.
Using MiraLax for Colon Cleanse
Detoxification of the colon removes wastes, toxins, and debris deposited on the colon walls.
The Mayo Clinic recommends taking a laxative to get rid of constipation and cleansing of the colon.
Miralax can help loosen fecal matter and promote smooth and frequent bowel movements to relieve constipation. It is an effective short-term remedy which can be used as a colon detox.
It is easy to use Miralax for colon cleanse. You can take this oral laxative in the right dosage as recommended by your doctor.
Usually, 7 days of colon cleansing process is recommended before the colonoscopy.
You can take the recommended measure of Miralax using the cap of bottle pre-measured line indicating different dosages.
Then empty the bottle cap containing Miralax powder into your chosen beverage and stir it for few minutes with a spoon before drinking.
Miralax laxative comes in powder form which you can dissolve in any beverage and drink. It goes well with both 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 the laxative. Right dosage of Miralax for adult and teenagers is 17 grams as per the measurement given on the cap of the bottle. You should consume only one dose of the laxative 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 clarify your doubts about using this laxative from your doctor or pharmacist.
Miralax Dosage For Toddlers, Infants, And Kids
A few of the recent studies are against the use of habit-forming laxative by children for relieving constipation.
However, Miralax is liberally used for relieving constipation in toddlers, infants or 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 both kids and adults.
There are several studies which have found PEG 3350 is safe to use in children.
Constipation is a rampant health issue in children than the adults. In fact, constipation is the most common cause of bladder and kidney infections in children.
Doctors typically turn to PEG 3350 or Miralax to ease out constipation issues in toddlers and kids. It is easy to give to infants as it has no taste or odor. You can simply mix Miralax into anyone of your child’s favorite beverages, and they typically won’t complain.
Miralax dosage for children or kids could between 10 t0 17 grams depending on the health condition of the child.
Serving laxatives like Miralax for infants or babies below the age of 1 year are not recommended. Try to solve the constipation problem in babies with natural remedies such as:
- switch up the bottle-fed milk with different formula
- feed them high fiber foods
- use pureed foods
- increase the intake of fluids
- encourage babies to do exercises
- massage stomach and lower abdomen
- use a glycerin suppository.
How Often Can You Take Miralax?
There are many people who suffer chronic constipation for a long period for some reason or other.
Miralax is one of the commonly used medications for getting rid of constipation.
How long or how often should you take Miralax?
It is necessary to use this over-the-counter laxative for 2 to 4 days 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 1 week continuously unless recommended by your doctor. You need to undergo a proper medical examination if you are still constipated even after using this medication regularly for a week.
Avoid using OTC laxatives as much as possible. Occasional constipation can be relieved by drinking more water, eating more fiber and probiotic foods, and using herbal laxatives.
Continuous dependence on a laxative for bowel movements can upset and damage your digestive system.
Can You Take Miralax Every day?
Miralax is laxative used for occasional constipation. The word “occasional” itself implies that this laxative to be occasionally used when you have constipation.
You should not take MiraLax every day (365 days of the year).
According to official instructions given by the Miralax company, ‘you can begin to take MiraLax at the first signs of constipation and continue taking until you experience relief (up to 7 days).
You should not take it continuously for more than seven days.
Miralax Side Effects
Do not take more than the recommended amount of MiraLax.
As per the instruction of the manufacturer of Miralax, take only 17 grams of this laxative per day.
MiraLax overdose can cause side effects such as:
- Increased thirst
Some of the OTC and prescription drugs can interact with Miralax.
Most pediatricians do now recommend the continuous usage Miralax for dealing with constipation in kids and those below the age of 17.
Miralax is not to be used by patients who have allergic reactions to polyethylene glycol or suffering from kidney diseases.
Continuous use of laxatives can cause habit-forming effects and dependency on laxatives.
Some physicians are concerned about electrolyte imbalance in the body caused by the continuous usage of laxatives.
It is not meant for people who have a bowel obstruction. Symptoms of a bowel obstruction include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and upset belly.
Weight loss with Miralax does happen but laxatives should not be used for weight loss.
Consult a doctor before using Miralax if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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