2 Yr Old Prescribed Miralax for 4 Weeks for Severe Constipation

Updated on January 05, 2014
K.T. asks from Saint Paul, MN
11 answers

My 2 year old is VERY constipated. A little background: He was constipated even at 3 weeks old and didn't poop for 8 days at one point. He had colic as a newborn until about 3.5 months, and from then on he was often very constipated, except for all of the times he had diarrhea from antibiotics. Whenever he is on an antibiotic, I've always followed it with Lactinex [a probiotic] and plenty of yogurt. Up until last month, the 5 months before that were better. He would get constipated only when eating a constipating food [he loves cheese], but for the most part he has been normal. He was tested for allergies around 12 months [food and respiratory, because he has asthma as well] and he did not have any, but sometimes I wonder if maybe he has developed any since then.
About a month ago, there were a couple of nights when he woke up crying, and threw up the food he had eaten more than 24 hours before. After that he was fine. Now, for the last few days, he has been waking up crying and obviously in pain, and saying "owie" "poopy" etc.
I took him to the doctor today and they took an x ray, and he is blocked up, almost all the way to his stomach. But, he has been having soft BMs recently. The doctor told me that in some kids the soft poop goes around the compacted poop that is stuck in the bowels. This makes no sense to me...why isn't the softer poop pushing the hard poop out? How can it "go around"? I'm worried that his digestive system is just slower and maybe not as efficient as it is supposed to be. He does love cheese, but he eats plenty of fresh fruits and dried fruits and whole grain cereal or bread daily. I don't see how he could be so constipated while eating those things.
Anyway, he was prescribed powdered Miralax to take for the next four weeks, and then he will have to have another x ray [which is a whole other issue...he has had probably 20 x-rays since he was born, not to mention a video swallow!!! I'm also very worried about all of the radiation he has been exposed to]. The doctor said we'll see how things look at that point, and that he will probably be able to be weaned off of the laxative. The word "weaned" has me concerned...will he go back to normal, or will his body get too used to the laxative helping things along? I don't want him to be dependent on a medication to keep him from being constipated forever! Not to mention the doctor and the nurse both said he will probably have diarrhea for a while.
Have any of you moms had kids who have had such severe constipation? Did Miralax cause any side effects? Were you able to successfully "wean" them off of it? Could there be another reason he is getting so blocked up, other than his love of cheese?
Thank you

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

My daughter had severe consitpation. Didn't have a bm for 28 days. Yes, the soft poop does work it's way out. She was on Miralax for almost 3 years, in addition to mineral oil. Good news, the Miralax really worked! She has no side effects, and now she's a healthy teen.

As far as diet, drinks lots of water, eat fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain cereals and whole grain bread.

Good luck.

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello, I have had this exact problem with my 4 year old. My child started when he was 2 years of age and I need your advice please! how did your child overcome this, or is he still having this problem?

I recently changed his Dr. and for the first time in two years he is going to have blood work and an X-ray taken. I am very nervous about the results because of the time he has been sick like this, but thank you so much for posting this.

Please respond to me at [email protected]____.com(dot)com



answers from Fort Wayne on

My daughter is 3 and has always had issues with her bowels. I have heard of kids being blocked up, but still having soft bowel movements. It's like when you have an old drain plug in a sink. Sometimes there's a slow leak, but most of the stuff still stays in there. My daughter was never that severely blocked up, but we do use Miralax once in awhile. Our problem isn't the dairy (which is in a lot of stuff not just cheese), it's the fact that she holds it. She will hold it and hold it and hold it so that when she finally goes, it's painful. We had her on Miralax (1/2 capful once a day) and ex-lax (1/2 of a chocolate chewable once a week) for about a month. Then I took her off the ex-lax. We slowly weaned her off the Miralax by just decreasing the amount, then the frequency. There are still times when she'll get stopped up and need a dose to get things going again.
What kinds of fruits is he eating? Generally if it starts with a P, it's a good "poop" food. But fruits like bananas (and apples in some people) will have the opposite affect. Does he eat enough roughage? Or green leafy vegetables? Those will help too. Try to cut out all dairy for at least two weeks. Read labels, you'll be amazed at all the stuff that has dairy in it. After he's cleaned out, you can reintroduce dairy a little at a time. And definitely limit his cheese intake.
I haven't noticed any side effects from the Miralax. There's no cramping or anything. It's basically a stool softener. It makes it easier for them to go. I can imagine if he's that backed up that you're going to have some pretty nasty diapers to change.
I hope that it works for you! I can only imagine how much pain your little guy must be in. I know how icky I feel when I'm constipated. I can't imagine how much it must hurt to be backed up that far.


answers from Los Angeles on

My son had to take Miralax for 3 months. He is totally fine, no side effects at all. He also gets constipated really easy too even though I've changed his diet. Miralax is totally safe and I still use it on him from time to time. It didn't give him diarrhea either, and he didn't have to be weaned from it. It takes about 2-3 days for it to fully work and once you stop taking it, it stops working. good luck!



answers from Seattle on

My 2 year old daughter is just like your son. She's had constipation issues since she was a few weeks old. She went 10 days without a poop several times before her first birthday. More recently, the past 6-8 weeks, we've had more severe problems. The biggest problem with her is that she had a super hard, painful poop and now she's scared. So, she holds it in. Could he be holding it in? This only causes constipation to get worse. It causes encopresis where the soft, gushy stuff leaks out around the blockage that the they are holding in. Gross, I know, sorry!

Anyway, my daughter has been on 12 grams of Miralax a day for about 6 weeks. We started with a lower dose, but this is what works for her. It really works - it's like a miracle! Our pediatrician gave us TONS of information and spent lots of time talking to us about how safe Miralax is and that it's non-habit forming. According to him, it's not a laxative in the way we think of laxatives - cramping, etc. It's not a stimulant; it simply draws fluid into the bowels (don't ask me how, I have no idea!). There is a lot of research on it and several people have been on it for years and years with no side effects. Of course, that's not the long-term goal... We want them going on their own eventually. However, I think it's pretty safe.

A couple of additional things on the constipation issue - these are some routines we HAVE to follow with my daughter to keep her going IN ADDITION to the daily Miralax dose. They are all pretty common sense things, but being busy moms we forget this stuff!! I literally wrote it down for awhile when it was really bad to remind myself of things to try - maybe some ideas you haven't tried for your son?

She has fruit with every single meal.
She eats fiber rich veggies at least twice a day.
Diluted pear juice every other day - only about 4 oz.
Lots of iceberg lettuce - no nutritional value, but she loves it and it keeps her going!
Only 10-12 ounces of milk each day, the rest water, lots of water - I'm still nursing, so you may need to up that milk intake.
Yogurt with probiotics every single day.
One banana a week at most.
Cheese 3 times a week at most.
LOTS and LOTS of exercise - this problem doubled in severity during the winter months and her activity decreased.

I don't really know what causes some kids to be this way, but I really do think it's just the way some kids are. My husband and I BOTH had similar issues as our daughter does when we were children. Good luck - it's awful, I know. Hang in there!



answers from Los Angeles on

I haven't read the other responses so sorry if I repeat, but my 9 month old daughter has been on miralax since she was about 4.5 months old. All foods constipate her so I was told to give her a quarter of a dose everyday until things got moving. Once they did I could play around with the dose (up or down) to the perfect level. Now she takes a quarter of a dose only when she gets backed up for a couple of days instead of everyday.

Doctors use miralax because it has no side effects and even if someone has to take it everyday for the rest of their life it will not matter. Miralax is over the counter and not a prescription, so it is not a super strong drug like you are making it seem.

If you are concerned that there is a true medical problem I would get a second opinion, but my guess is that if he is that blocked up getting it all out and starting over will really help.

You can also make sure that your son is eating something with a lot of fiber with every constipating food. For example pair cheese with pears as a snack.

Good luck!



answers from Cleveland on

I'm not too sure about the prescription end of it but have you ever tried giving him a teaspoon of mineral oil? My stepmom used it with my younger sisters and it always seemed to help. Good luck



answers from Detroit on

Just remember that Miralex does work great but it only works when you take it. It is also a bit expensive but Medicaid does pay for the genertic. Once you stop giving it to him he will have the same problem though. Two of my boys have had problems with constipation snice birth but I keep track and take measures to make sure they go on a regular basis. They are older now and I give them fiber pills sometimes but that makes them gassy and gas and boys leads to all kinds of weird situations so the general rule is Milk of Mag after 2 days. When severe they get laxitives or enemas. Too many other problems can happen when it isn't monitored so keep track of it. What we have to do as parents......



answers from Minneapolis on

Make sure he is drinking a lot of water. A lot of fiber with no water intake will result in constipation.


answers from Pocatello on

so my daughter is 15 months old and gets constipated all the time and has to take Miralax too. This is what my doctor told me Miralax is very safe and not habit forming. It it fine to give it to her as much as needed until we get this all under control. I have had to give it to her on and off now for about 2 months and I haven't noticed any side effects other than the fact that she will have really mushy poops for a few days but then she will be fine for a week or two with normal poops (without having to give her more Miralax) But then she gets back up again. I like giving it to her because I feel like it helps to clean her all out and she is much happier. Her doctor also said a really good food to help regulate her are pears. He also said that they can get really constipated when they don't get enough fluids so he told me to make sure she gets lots and lots of water and juice. She actually hates juice so she gets milk with her 3 meals and then I have her keep a sippy with water in it with her all through out the day to get her to drink more. I know it's hard to give them something like this so often but I bet it will help him.



answers from Dallas on

Miralax is probably the safest thing you can give your child at this point if his bowels are that blocked. Miralax will draw water to the hardened stool causing it to soften and allow it to move out of the body. You won't have to wean your child off Miralax.

Personally, if your son is having this many issues, I would completely cut out dairy products all together. He may not have the enzymes to digest milk. Switch him to almond or rice milk and no cheese. Also, they make fiber gummies for kids and you need to make sure he is drinking plenty of clear fluids: fruit juice or water.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions