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Are you a concerned parent dealing with your child’s constipation issues and considering Miralax for kids as a solution? Constipation in children can be a distressing experience, and as a parent, you want the best for your little one. If you’ve heard about Miralax for kids and are wondering whether it’s the right choice, you’re in the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll navigate the world of Miralax, exploring its safety, dosage, potential side effects, and alternatives. We’ll break down the complex information into simple terms, ensuring you have a clear understanding of how Miralax can benefit your child’s digestive health. So, let’s dive in and find the answers you’re looking for to make the best decision for your child’s well-being.

What is Miralax?

Miralax, a Laxative for Softer Stools

Miralax, also known as polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG), is an OTC laxative available as a powder. This powder is easily mixed with liquids like water or juice, making it convenient for consumption. But how does it work? Miralax operates by increasing the water content in the digestive tract. This added moisture softens the stool, making it easier for your child to pass. Here are some key points about Miralax:

  • Main Ingredient: PEG is the active ingredient, short for polyethylene glycol 3350.
  • Form: It’s available as a powder.
  • Mechanism: Miralax works by retaining more water in the digestive tract, which helps soften stool.

What is it used to treat?

Miralax is primarily used as a solution for constipation, both in children and adults. Constipation is a common digestive issue characterized by infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stool. It can lead to discomfort, pain, and even more severe health problems if left untreated. Miralax’s effectiveness in treating constipation lies in its active ingredient, polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350), which works by retaining more water in the digestive tract, making the stool softer and easier to pass. Here are some key points to understand about Miralax’s use in treating constipation:

  • Constipation Relief: Miralax is specifically designed to relieve constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
  • Stool Softening: Its mechanism involves softening the stool by increasing the water content in the colon, making it less challenging to pass.
  • Duration: The time it takes for Miralax to produce results varies but typically ranges from 24 to 48 hours.

Constipation can occur in children for various reasons, including potty training stress, certain medications, a lack of dietary fiber, and inadequate hydration. If your child experiences persistent constipation, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and guidance on suitable treatment options, which may include Miralax.

How do you take Miralax?

Miralax Dosage: Getting it Right for Kids

When it comes to Miralax, ensuring the right dosage is crucial, especially when it’s intended for children. The dosing process for Miralax requires careful consideration to achieve effective results while maintaining safety. Here’s what you need to know about taking Miralax:

  • Measuring Cap: For adults, Miralax includes a measuring cap that simplifies the dosing process. However, children may require a different dose due to variations in body weight and age.
  • Healthcare Provider Guidance: To determine the appropriate Miralax dosage for your child, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider. They will consider various factors, including your child’s age, weight, the severity of constipation, and overall health, to prescribe the most suitable dose.
  • Onset of Action: Miralax is not a fast-acting laxative. It typically takes between 24 to 48 hours to produce noticeable results. It’s important to be patient and give it time to work.
  • Adjusting the Dose: If Miralax appears ineffective or if your child’s constipation persists, your healthcare provider may need to make adjustments to the dosage. This emphasizes the importance of regular communication with your healthcare professional to ensure the treatment’s effectiveness.

Who can take Miralax?

Miralax and Its Use in Children

While the label on Miralax indicates it’s for individuals aged 17 and older, it’s worth noting that healthcare providers often recommend it for children and adolescents under 16. This is considered off-label use, meaning it’s employed in a way not approved by the FDA. Notably, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) supports the use of Miralax in children due to its tolerability and ease of use. It’s a common choice for treating constipation in this age group.

Is Miralax safe for kids?

The Safety Debate: Miralax for Children

The safety of Miralax for kids has been a topic of debate, with mixed opinions among healthcare providers and parents. While many healthcare providers consider it safe and continue to recommend it for children, some parents have expressed concerns about unexpected behavior-related side effects in kids. This has prompted the FDA to investigate Miralax’s safety, including funding a study in 2014. However, the results of this study are pending, leaving questions unanswered.

Are there any serious side effects of Miralax?

Understanding Miralax’s Side Effects

Miralax may cause side effects, predominantly related to the abdominal region. These side effects include bloating, stomach cramping, gas, and nausea. However, there have been reports from parents suggesting more serious side effects, such as anxiety, mood swings, anger, and abnormal behavior in their children. As of now, there is no conclusive evidence linking these symptoms to Miralax. The ongoing FDA study aims to determine if Miralax is indeed responsible for these side effects or if there are other underlying causes.

Alternatives to Miralax for kids

Exploring Alternatives for Constipation Relief

If Miralax isn’t the right choice for your child, alternative approaches address constipation. These include:

  • Dietary Changes: Encouraging a diet rich in fiber with foods like pears, apples, oatmeal, lentils, and carrots.
  • Physical Activity: Ensuring your child engages in daily physical activity to promote regular bowel habits.
  • Toilet Schedule: Establishing a toilet schedule to help children develop healthy bathroom routines.
  • Other Laxatives: Considering other laxatives like milk of magnesia or mineral oil, but with caution and under healthcare provider guidance.


Constipation is a common issue among children, and Miralax is often recommended by healthcare providers to provide relief. While it’s generally considered safe, it may not be suitable for every child. There are alternative treatments and lifestyle changes that can also help manage constipation. Regardless of the chosen approach, it’s crucial to maintain open communication with your healthcare provider and monitor your child’s health closely for any changes.

Miralax FAQs

The safety of Miralax for children has been a topic of debate. While healthcare providers often recommend it, some parents have expressed concerns about potential side effects. The FDA is currently investigating these concerns, but Miralax is still used for kids under healthcare provider guidance.

The dosage of Miralax for children varies based on factors like age, weight, and the severity of constipation. It's crucial to consult a healthcare provider who can prescribe the appropriate dose tailored to your child's needs.

Common side effects may include bloating, stomach cramping, gas, and nausea. However, there have been reports of more serious side effects like anxiety, mood swings, and abnormal behavior. The link between these symptoms and Miralax is still being investigated.

Yes, there are alternatives to Miralax for managing constipation in children. These include dietary changes, increased physical activity, establishing a toilet schedule, and using other laxatives under healthcare provider guidance.

Miralax is not a fast-acting laxative. It typically takes between 24 to 48 hours to produce noticeable results in children. Patience is key when using Miralax for constipation relief.

Miralax can be used for an extended period to treat functional constipation in children. The treatment duration should be determined by a healthcare provider, and the dose may be adjusted based on the child's progress.

If you observe any unusual behavior or symptoms in your child while using Miralax, it's essential to consult a healthcare provider immediately. They can assess the situation and provide guidance on the appropriate course of action.