If you are a parent of a toddler who suffers from occasional constipation you may have heard of Miralax as a possible solution.
Miralax is a brand name for polyethylene glycol 3350 a laxative that works by drawing water into the colon and softening the stool.
Miralax is generally considered safe and effective for short-term use in children over 6 months of age but how long does it take for Miralax to work in toddlers?
In this blog post, we will explore how long it takes for Miralax to work in toddlers along with some important factors to consider when using this medication.
How Long Does It Take for Miralax to Work in Toddlers?
Factors Affecting Miralax’s Effectiveness
Several factors can influence how quickly Miralax works in toddlers including:
- The severity of constipation: Children with more severe constipation may take longer to experience relief.
- Dosage: The correct dosage of Miralax is important for optimal effectiveness. Always follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations or the package instructions for dosing.
- Hydration: Ensuring your child is properly hydrated can help Miralax work more effectively as the medication relies on water to soften the stool.
- Dietary habits: A balanced diet with adequate fiber intake can help support healthy bowel movements and may improve the effectiveness of Miralax.
Precautions When Using Miralax in Toddlers
Before using Miralax for your toddler it’s essential to consider the following precautions:
- Consult your healthcare provider: Always consult your child’s pediatrician before starting any new medication including Miralax. They can help determine if Miralax is appropriate for your child and recommend the proper dosage.
- Watch for side effects: While Miralax is generally well-tolerated some children may experience side effects such as gas bloating or diarrhea. If your child experiences severe or persistent side effects contact your healthcare provider.
- Use as directed: Follow the dosing instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the package insert. Using too much Miralax can lead to diarrhea or electrolyte imbalances.
- Avoid long-term use: Miralax is intended for occasional constipation relief and should not be used for extended periods without consulting a healthcare provider.
Your pediatrician can advise you on the best dose of Miralax for your child based on their age weight and medical history. The dose may need to be adjusted over time depending on how your child responds to the treatment.
How to Use Miralax for Constipation in Toddlers
The recommended dose of Miralax for toddlers is 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) per day. It can be mixed with any liquid such as water juice or milk. It is important to give Miralax plenty of fluids as this will help the laxative work more effectively.
Is Miralax safe for toddlers?
Miralax is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults only. However many pediatricians prescribe it off-label for children with chronic constipation. This means that they use it in a way that is not approved by the FDA but based on their clinical judgment and experience.
There is limited research on the long-term safety and effectiveness of Miralax in children. Some studies have suggested that PEG may cause behavioral changes or neurological problems in some children but these findings are not conclusive or consistent. More research is needed to confirm or rule out these potential risks.
The FDA is currently conducting a study on the safety of PEG in children under 17 years old. The results are expected to be available by 2023.
Until then the FDA advises parents and caregivers to follow these tips when giving Miralax to their children:
- Use Miralax only as directed by your child’s pediatrician.
- Do not give more than the recommended dose or use it for longer than seven days unless instructed by your child’s pediatrician.
- Do not give Miralax to children under two years old without consulting your child’s pediatrician.
- Do not give Miralax to children with kidney problems bowel obstruction or suspected appendicitis without consulting your child’s pediatrician.
- Monitor your child for any side effects or changes in behavior while using Miralax.
- Report any adverse reactions or concerns to your child’s pediatrician and the FDA MedWatch program.
What are the side effects of Miralax in toddlers?
Miralax is generally well-tolerated by most children but some side effects may occur. These include:
Most of these side effects are mild and temporary and can be managed by reducing the dose or increasing fluid intake. However, if your child experiences severe or persistent side effects or signs of an allergic reaction (such as rash hives swelling, or difficulty breathing) you should stop giving them Miralax and seek medical attention immediately.
What are some alternatives to Miralax for toddlers?
Miralax is not the only option for treating constipation in toddlers. There are some natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help prevent and relieve constipation without medication. These include:
- Increasing the intake of fluids, especially water.
- Increasing the intake of fiber-rich foods such as fruits vegetables whole grains beans nuts and seeds.
- Avoid foods that can cause constipation such as dairy products processed foods refined grains sweets and fried foods.
- Encouraging regular physical activity such as walking running jumping playing or dancing.
- Establishing a routine for bowel movements such as going to the bathroom at the same time every day or after meals.
- Providing a comfortable and relaxed environment for bowel movements such as using a stool or a potty seat to support the feet and legs.
- Praising and rewarding your child for successful bowel movements such as using stickers toys books or praise.
- Avoiding scolding or punishing your child for accidents or withholding stool.
- Seeking professional help if constipation persists or causes complications.
Overall Miralax can be an effective option for treating occasional constipation in toddlers. It typically begins working within 24 to 72 hours though complete relief may take up to a week. Remember to consult your child’s healthcare provider before starting any new medication and follow their recommendations for proper use.