Miralax Question - San Jose,CA

Updated on July 18, 2010
A.L. asks from San Jose, CA
19 answers

My 2 year old daughter has been using Miralax for several weeks after experiencing chronic constipation for months. We are currently giving her 1/2 capful (about 2 tsp) once a day. The problem is she is now having very small very smooshy poops 5-8 times a day--sometimes no more than a little smear. While this is preferable to being constipated (much less painful) it still isn't too fun for her or us.

We tried cutting back to just 1 tsp. for a few days but she kept doing this. I'm just not sure what's going on. Has anyone else had this issue with Miralax? Our doctor thinks she needs to keep taking it for a few weeks to get her system regulated after being so constipated and that eventually it will work itself out.

BTW, I know a lot of people will want to advise that we should try to control the constipation with diet instead of Miralax, but we've already tried this with no success. We tried more fiber, prunes, prune juice, pear juice, more water/liquid, flaxseed meal, probiotics, etc. and NONE of these things worked (even when we did it all together).


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answers from San Francisco on

Although I haven't experienced this problem myself, my mother-in-law has. She had chronic constipation as a toddler, and still does on occasion, for which she takes Metamucil. It could take months, rather than weeks, for the Metamucil to work fully. Not only have you got to get rid of all the blockages and built-up poop, you have to retrain the bowel how to work properly, after months of not working properly. I agree that at this point, diet is probably only a minor factor. Keep at what you are doing - it might just take longer than you are expecting.



answers from Modesto on

My son is taking Mirlax on a regular basis for a condition called Encropresis. When we first started taking it, his bowel movements were exactly like you describe. The doctor told us that it was because he was so backed up and his body does not know what a regular schedule is like. Give it some time, it may take a month or so. We give him the Mirlax at night before he goes to bed. He gets 3 tsp. in juice. It will all work itself out in the end.

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answers from San Francisco on

My daughter suffered from constipation from being a new born until about 6 months ago (at 2 1/2) when we potty trained her.
We first used Mirilax when she was about 16 months old and we were told (and did) to start with a 1/2 a cap full and slowly move her to a little more until she is completely empty (a few good diarrhea type diapers) and then move it down to a 1/2 a cap full for a few weeks and then SLOWLY (take a month or so) ween her off it.
I know your pain, it's so hard watching your child go through this. The silver lining that I found is that it helped me maintain a healthy diet for my daughter. I still have to make sure she eats her fruits, veggies, yogurt (we did smoothies which helped a lot) drinks lots of water and limit things like cheese, gold fish or other crackers, etc.
Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If you are interested in learning how to balance your babies body naturally let me know. I have great success in that department.

Have a great day.

N. Marie

[email protected]____.com


answers from Modesto on

Diet is key to good digestion and stool. The longer stool stays in the intestine the dryer and harder it becomes, this is why high fiber and plenty of water is important. Some of us have a sluggish bowel and go only every few days, some of us have a fast bowel and go after every meal. We are all different. Please stay as far away from processed foods as possible. Type "what foods cause constipation?" into search and you will get a good list of what to avoid. Milk is one of them. High fiber diets require plenty of liquids to activate the gelling of the stool. A small, red delicious apple in the morning and one before bed is a miracle worker, skin on of course. The old addage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is extremely true. But I bet 95% of us are not indulging in that sweet and easy fix.



answers from San Francisco on

I would actually check in with the pharmacist to see if he or she can confirm what your doctor says about taking 2 weeks to get it regulated. Pharmacists are a great resource as they have extensive knowledge of various drugs, side effects, etc.

J. F.



answers from Atlanta on

Just read this GREAT article -- in Parents in April -- you will love it! Talks EXACTLY about this from a doctor with a child from 2-5 yrs.


Good luck and great strength -- you will both succeed with time:)



answers from San Francisco on

My teenage daughter has issues with chronic constipation of irritable bowel syndrome, which also aggravates her acid reflux and caused severe bloating. Miralax and insoluble fibers did not help her. (And, as another responder described, her doctor said that it can take a long time to move a blockage.) Probiotics have been useful. The most effective product for her has been organic acacia fiber; it is a soluble fiber so more gentle on the system. She takes a small amount mixed in water before each meal. We cannot always find it at the store, but it can be ordered: http://www.helpforibs.com The fiber is helpful for both constipation and diarrhea issues. I don't know if this is the correct product for your daughter right now, but good to know about. Good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

Our daughter is also 2 and has the same problem that actually developed into encopresis (http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/cond....

Our pediatrician has our daughter on 1/2 tsp of Miralax/day to help create new habits. Originally, we were to do it for 8 weeks, but we're looking at having to do it indefinitely for now as she quickly reverts to her fear of passing stools.

I wonder what your pediatrician's reasons for the twice/day regimen is? To me, it seems like it may be too much. I'd certainly not change until you've verified with the pediatrician, but I wonder if once/day would be enough based upon her weight and fiber supplementation in her diet (as you already mentioned).



answers from Sacramento on

We have been through this! We did everything to change diet and still nothing. Miralax worked(but was loose), we ended up decreasing it slowly over a weeks time. Our daughter used it for only a week or two and everything went to somewhat normal. She still gets constipated if she has too much dairy(school/friend's house). We just give her a little here and there to even her out. You'll figure out that just lessening it a little each day, it won't be to loose, and she won't be constipated. Good luck.


answers from Dallas on

Yep! Same thing with us! I hate that stuff! My little one is back in diapers after being potty trained b/c she can't hold her poop in sometimes. We keep giving it to her though b/c if we don't, she'll get backed up again. I'll be calling the pedi again soon to see that heck to do now. I hope your issues resolve soon. I know it's no fun. For her OR you. :)



answers from Sacramento on

The best solution for constipation is Magnesium. The body uses magnesium for elimination and when there is a deficiency there is constipation. It's a direct cause effect relationship.
The best is Kid Calm. You can buy online or some health food stores. I'd call first.
Start with the label directions and slowly increase until the stool is comfortably loose. This does not cause the crazy miralax side effects. It's just replacing what's missing so she can have a normal life and you too. :)
Good luck. I'm sure things will work out beautifully.


answers from Pittsburgh on

Ok, I LOVE Miralax. It was a miracle for my son. We still use it, even though he has been regulated for some time. It sounds to me like you are using too much. I know that's a no brainer, but I would cut back the amount you are using to at least half, and do it for at least a month and see where she is at that point. My ped said that the poop should generally have the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Not super soft, but not solid either. My son, who is 4 1/2 and about 45 lbs uses just a little bit (about a teaspoon) once a day, and that is enough to keep his poop like soft serve. No multiple poops a day, no runny poop, and no smears in his undies. I think you just need to keep reducing until you get to this point, and then maintain that for a while before trying to stop completely.

Good luck!



answers from Savannah on

Try an oral probiotic instead of the Miralax. You can get chewables at GNC or get the Cultrule brand that you mix in liquid. My kids will take either and my daughter has constipation problems. Her Dr put her on miralax and I took her off of it as soon as I found out what it is and that long term use can make a child's system even worse!! But the probiotic has helped her greatly and it's safe to give to kids!




answers from San Francisco on

Lots of good advice from other moms and I know you mentioned diet. But have you tried cutting out dairy? There are new studies that show that a mild dairy intolerance can actually result in the only symptom being constipation. I only found out because my son has a mild dairy allergy and we're trying to find the balance between no dairy and some that doesn't upset his system. Interesting info in the link below in the answer. Hope something works for you! Constipation in kids is no fun.



answers from San Francisco on

I don't have any experience with Miralax, but I did want to pass on what worked for my daughter when she was severely constipated. I can't remember exactly how old she was - she might have been a bit older than 2. Our pedicatrician recommended giving her Metamucil cookies (I buy these in the pharmacy section of Safeway). They worked very well and very naturally for her. Her dose was 1/3 to 1/2 cookie once or twice a day. If you try this, just make sure your child drinks lots of water with it.



answers from Sacramento on

We've been working with a pediatric GI doctor now for a few years and what we've learned in dealing with my daughter's constant constipation (she is now 6) is that when there are lots of small amounts of smooshy poops or smudges in her panties, it's usually that she has a poop blockage in her intestines and the poop that's coming out is just seeping around the blockage which is why it's the consistency it is. The GI doc told us to stop the miralax for a couple of days and use a 1/2 -1 dose of magnesium citrate (you can get at target/walmart in lots of different flavors). This gives her diarrhea for a day or so but clears out the blockage. Then we restart on miralax.The doc said she'll probably eventually grow out of being dependent on the miralax.

Chronic constipation can be a familial/genetic thing and diet changes may not fix it. We are very healthy eaters (lots of veggies/fruits/fiber) and it does not change my daughter's issues. I do want to mention though that it took us a number of months at the beginning of using miralax to find the right dosage for her. We would try a dosage and wait a week or so to see if it was right, then readjust. We didn't start the magnesium citrate until 6-8 months in. Ask your pediatrician about seeing a pediatric GI doc in a few months if the miralax isn't doing the trick.

Good luck to you!



answers from New York on

When my daughter was little she suffered from severe consitpation. I don't remember the dosage (I think a full capful) along with some mineral oil, along with a high fiber diet. It does take sometime to work. The smooshy poops are a good sign. Miralax is not like a normal laxative that you take and 24 hours later you have poop, it takes time to work.


answers from Fresno on

Keep her on it for a few weeks. No, it's no fun, but once her body has a chance to regulate itself better, you will be able to slowly wean her off of it and she'll be okay. Both of my girls had to be on Miralax from probably 1 year old to 2 years old (AND we had to remove dairy, because even in small amounts it would make them super constipated). The thing about it is, it's not a laxative, it just makes the poop softer. You'll go through this period where she will poop all the time, but it will even out after a little while. Just give it time to work.

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