What is MiraLax?
MiraLax is a brand-name for the generic drug polyethylene glycol 3350. It’s a popularly used laxative to treat constipation.
Taking laxatives helps to bring water into the bowels to promote the healthy functioning of the digestive system.
Miralax and other laxatives work by drawing water into the intestine.
Water retention in the bowels makes the stool softer to relieve constipation.
In most cases, Miralax softens 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 constipation in adults. It works best for IBS-C bowel syndrome which causes irregularity in 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, Gialax, GlycoLax, PEG3350, SunMark, or ClearLax which 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.
Miralax Weight Loss
There are many claims and counter-claims about using MiraLax for weight loss.
Some of the patients who regularly used it for constipation have reported losing many 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.”
Also, there is a misguided perception that laxatives help in faster movement of foods through your digestive system, leading to 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.
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.
There are other healthy ways to lose weight. Miralax should be exclusively used to treat constipation.
Miralax Colon Cleanse and Colonoscopy
Through the process of the bowel cleanse or colon-hydrotherapy toxins are flushed out of the gut.
This gut cleansing procedure not only keeps the body clean but also promotes good health, wellness, and weight loss.
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 the cleansing of the colon.
Using laxatives like Miralax or using other stool softeners is usually administered for bowel cleansing.
Using MiraLax for Colon Cleanse
Detoxification of the colon removes wastes, toxins, and debris deposited on the large-intestinal walls.
The Mayo Clinic recommends taking a laxative to get rid of constipation and cleansing the bowel.
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 viscera cleanse. Take this oral laxative in the right dosage as recommended by your doctor.
Usually, 5-7 days of colon cleansing process is recommended before the colonoscopy.
Take the recommended dosage of Miralax and add it to 8 ounces of liquid. Choose a beverage to use with Miralax such as fruit juice, getaroid, vegetable juice, coffee, tea, warm water, smoothies, or soda.
Take the recommended measure of Miralax using the cap of the bottle pre-measured line indicating different dosages.
Then empty the bottle cap containing Miralax powder into your chosen beverage and stir it for a few minutes with a spoon before drinking.
Miralax 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. The right dosage of Miralax for adults and teenagers is 17 grams as per the measurement given on the cap of the bottle. You should consume only one dose of 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 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, 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.
Several studies have found PEG 3350 is safe to use in children.
Constipation is a more rampant health issue in children than in 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 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 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 a 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?
Many people suffer chronic constipation for a long period for some reason or another.
Miralax is approved by FDA and 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 have 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.
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.
Effects of laxative abuse can cause dangerous side effects. Do not take more than the recommended amount of laxative to relieve and prevent constipation.
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
- causes eating disorder
Some of the OTC and prescription drugs can interact with Miralax.
Most pediatricians do now recommend the continuous usage of 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 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 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 an upset belly.
Weight loss with Miralax does happen but using laxatives for weight loss is not recommended.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using Miralax
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