Discussions that mention miralax

Children's Health board

Does anyone's child take Miralax for their constipation? My 4 year old daughter has had constipation issues for a long time now. I have been giving her the full dosage of Miralax (actually the generic form - Polyethylene Glycol which I'm pretty sure is the same) every day. It helps some but it seems it is not working well lately. It recently took her about 5 days to have a bowel movement. This is getting to be quite an issue because she is avoiding eating because of her constipation. The doctor says it is perfectly safe to use this every day but from what I've been reading it seems she can become dependent on it. I'm at a loss of what to do. I try to make sure she eats fruits and vegetables and healthy foods but it is a struggle to get her to eat. Any suggestions? I don't like giving this to her every day.
I am an adult taking Miralax and it works great "IF" you drink plenty of water. Miralax works by bulking up the stools.

Be sure your daughter drinks plenty of water. Also, the full dose may be too much for her. Have you tried 1/2 dose and plenty of water during the day? The full dose may be contributing to constipation if there is not enough water consumed.

Be sure your daughter is not eating a lot of constipating foods.

The name alone indicates this med is a laxative, but, it is the same type med as Metamucil, Konsyl, etc. Supposedly it is not habit forming.

My meds for health problems contribute a lot to my constipation problem and Miralax has been a blessing for me.
My daughter is 8 and she has been using some sort of laxative for 4 years now (Milk of Magnesia, lactuloose, senna, dulcolax and now Miralax).
Miralax works the best. It does not cause dependency as it is a non stimulant laxative.
If soiling or constipation keeps happening it could be two things: either your child is impacted and needs a clean out, or the dosage is a bit too high. It takes a lot of trial and error to find the right dosage. Also, it takes about 2 weeks for a body to figure out if what it is getting is the right dosage.
Seeing that your child is "only" four I would be absolutely on top of this, before it leads to bigger problems like megacolon or megarectum.
Look up soiling, constipation or encopresis for more information.

When my daughter was 4 my husband and I realized that she was holding her bowels. A month went by before we realized here leg crossing. We initially thought is was dietary but it wasn't. She had such a fear of going, that she could painfully hold it for a week!

The dr had us trying Senakot for kids which is a natural laxative. Milk of Magnesia, and also mineral oil. Miralax was the only thing that worked. She was so backed up and she would eat considerably less. She was miserable w/o the Miralax. She was on for atleast a year, until she outgrew the fear (which she even had therapy for).

She is now 7 and is perfectly fine. She remembers those days!!
My daughter is 5 and has been on Miralax for 1 and 1/2 years under the direction of a pediatric gi. I originally called the pediatrician because she suddenly began having 7 or 8 accidents a day and I could tell by looking at her face that she was as surprised as I was. She had no control over it. I did not like the way my pediatrician brushed me off and I went to a specialist who would focus on this problem. It turns out that she was very backed up. This problem has been very trying. On the Miralax she does have fairly regular soft BMs but she also still has soiling (encopresis), usually later in the day. We have regular potty times usually after breakfast, after school and after dinner, although if she has already had a big poop that day I don't force her to sit long. Sometimes she blows up balloons, or on instruments, or bubbles to help her push, but I'm not convinced she really knows how to push or feels it when she needs to go. We do a lot of finetuning to her dosage and the timing of the Miralax. I am somewhat disheartened that this is taking so long to go away. I try adjusting her diet to avoid constipating foods and increase fiber. One birthday party indulge sets us back a week. I would say we are managing it "OK" but not great. It has become an issue that impacts her social life--little things like drop-off playdates or swim lessons. My doctor assures me that this will go away. It is important to handle it in a non-emotional way with her, but it eats at my insides.
Hi C's Mom,

Not that is going to help you much right now, but there will be days that you feel better about all of this.

My daughter has been suffering from this her whole life and she is now 8. Checking her body has become second nature to me, I am able to predict how she will do on any given day, but strangely enough I am not able to prevent anything from happening: it is not my problem, it is hers. Giving the problem to her has been the hardest things I had to do. Also, you need to learn to realize that the problem is the problem, not your daughter. That all said, I found myself yelling at my kid again today, because she had an accident in school and put her dirty undies in her backpack without a plastic bag (lovely smelly backpack!).

I found (and still find) that this problem eats away on your confidence as a mother. My reasoning goes something like "if I was a halfway decent mom, I would be able to solve this problem". It deosn't help that most people I meet have no way of understanding what she goes through every day (but if she needs to go, she could go, right??? No, wrong, she doesn't feel her poop, she doesn't smell her accidents etc etc...

Right now Anna and I are in a good place. After years and years of trial and error I have decided to finally follow my gut feeling. I halved her dosage of Miralax (the pediatriac gi said that soiling had something to do with impaction, I believed it was just too much Miralax) and I have become extrmely strict with bathroom routines. It helps, we have a lot less accidents. But anything throws us for a loop: birth day party, getting up later in the weekends, one forgotten sits, not enought too drink, or all of a sudden too much to drink...

The frustrations are sometimes overwhelming!
By the way, there is a specific message board just for this problem. I am not sure I am allowed to mention it hear but look under aboutencopresis.com.

Good luck C's mom!

Thank you Karen! I totally understand the frustration that would lead to yelling at your daughter. Sometimes I think it is my fear of this problem going on forever that makes me snap at her sometimes, rather than the actual event. I also totally beat myself up constantly about how I must be screwing up what I fed her, or when I had her sit on the potty, etc. I do endless strategizing before events (like gymnastics class) to help her get through it without an issue.

I do find ziplocks to be the greatest invention ever. I have often had to spend an evening out with a dirty pair of underwear in a ziplock in my purse. (I always carry clean underwear in a ziplock with me just in case and then use the same bag if I need it.) You can also get those little blue bags that they sell to dispose diapers in because they have some kind of scent cover upper, but I haven't tried that yet. I bet your daughter just panicked and wanted to get it hidden as quickly as possible. Does she have a strategy for school, like carrying a bag with her when she goes to the bathroom just in case? She could have some cute plastic lined purse that serves a double purpose. Unfortunately, my daughter is still unable to really clean herself up afterwards properly. Luckily most of her problems occur later in the day when she is home.

C is starting kindergarten in the fall. I was thinking of speaking to the nurse about letting her use her bathroom if she has a problem and to see what extent they would help her if she had an issue. However I am concerned about them labeling her as "a problem". Does your daughter feel comfortable going to after school playdates and activities without you? These are the things that keep me up at night.

By the way, I also think that too much Miralax causes some of the accidents. I cut mine by 25% from what the doctor wanted and it did help the leakage that was occuring after she had already successfully pooped that day.
Karen if you are out there I wanted to tell you the C is doing much better. She has had her best 6 weeks since this all began over 1 and 1/2 years ago and I am encouraged for the first time. She's still on Miralax, but is pooping once a day and only soiling periodically (maybe a few bad days in a month).

A few little things I changed which may have helped (although maybe it was just about waiting it out and this stuff didn't matter.) I stopped mixing the miralax with milk and switched to juice or gatorade. My husband also stumbled upon the fact that if you make her laugh hard on the potty it helps her poop. We've taken to tickle games--e.g. if you rhyme my word I get to tickle you--which gives her control over starts and stops of tickling. It sounds totally goofy but it worked for her. It also lightened everyone up. Now she's starting to copy the tightening of her tummy sensation that she felt when tickled on her own sometimes without tickling her. She still doesn't feel when she needs to go or pushes the way I'd like, but she is definitely doing better.

C's Mom
There are some simple observations that may be useful to those who visit this site:

1. MiraLAX works by INCREASING the volume of water in the large intestine. For those who have hard stools, the water will soften it. For those who have exceedingly hard stool, the water has to be in the intestine long enough for the stool to become soft.

2. Too little MiraLAX will not cause enough water in the stool to soften.

3. Too much MiraLAX will cause watery stools, or leakage because there is too MUCH water in the intestine.

4. We are all created different. No doctor can tell how much is EXACTLY right for any person. A child clearly needs less than an adult. A physically small child needs even less. A 400 lb adult needs even more. A person with an enlarged colon from years of constipation will hold more fluid than a normal person. For someone who is severely impacted, it takes a few days to soften the stool. Once the person become more regular, it should take less as a maintenance dose. How much less? Simply adjust it based on how hard or how watery the stool is.

5. Our large intestines should absorb the water we drink, and pass it into our blood stream. Some of us are constipated because our intestines absorb the water too quickly. That's why if we drink huge amounts of it (assuming we replace the electrolytes that is leached away), the bowel cannot absorb it fast enough, and the stool will move again. However, we cannot drink gallons of water every day. MiraLAX keeps the water in our intestines longer, AND replenishes the electrolytes.

6. MiraLAX is not a stimulant, and should not be habit forming. Since it is not a stimulant, it also cannot alleviate problems for those who do not know how to, or cannot use their muscles to move the stool.

I hope this helps.