7 Questions Answered About MiraLax
Doc Smitty with more information on constipation relief medication
Our previous story on MiraLax received quite a bit of attention from our readers.
If you missed the first story, please check it out here. Now for some constipation and Miralax AMA responses:
1.Is short term use of MiraLax for a colonoscopy OK?
Quite a few studies have looked at short-term use of MiraLax for bowel regimens for colonoscopy, which showed MiraLax to be safe and effective (and much more tolerable than more “aggressive” regimens).
2.What are the diet modifications for treating constipation?
Foods that are high in fiber should be offered to children who are experiencing constipation. Some examples would be high-fiber cereal (more than 5 grams per serving), fruits (pears, strawberries, apple with skin, dried fruits) and vegetables (beans, sweet potato, lentils). Children should also be encouraged to drink 32-64 ounces of water per day. One common cause of constipation is ingestions of more than 32 ounces of cow’s milk.
3.What are the treatment alternatives for MiraLax?
Of course, diet and fluid intake are the primary means of treatment and should be for all children. There are other medication alternatives to MiraLax. Some work like MiraLax and are osmotic (draw fluids into the bowels) but others are stimulating (they cause the intestines to contract). Each has its own side effect profile so I would recommend discussing with your pediatrician.
4.Is there tolerance or dependence on MiraLax over time?
According to the available information about MiraLax, there should be no reason to believe that a tolerance to MiraLax could develop. Kids should be transitioned to a high-fiber diet and weaned off MiraLax as soon as possible.
5.Are probiotics an option for treating constipation?
A few small studies looked at the use of certain probiotics for constipation, but nothing I can find on a large scale study or a firm suggestion of which bacterial strains and dosage should be included.
6.Is MiraLax absorbed into the bloodstream?
Based on the available information, there is no reason to believe that MiraLax is absorbed into the bloodstream. A current study in Philadelphia is intended to better address this question by assessing if small amounts of the substance or bi-products are present in the child’s blood.
7.Would you give your child MiraLax?
Given the available information, if my children had problems with constipation that couldn’t be relieved with diet modifications, I would feel comfortable giving MiraLax to them. Should further information from the Philadelphia study surface, I would definitely want to take that into consideration.
Justin Smith is a pediatrician and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. His interest in communications started when he realized that his parents were relying more on the internet for medical information. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” is set to open in Trophy Club in 2017.