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Michael Monheit
Michael Monheit
Attorney • (215) 840-6573

Unproven Laxative Still Widely Used for Childhood Constipation

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MIRALAX, a medication used to combat constipation, and one that has gained popularity amongst parents and children alike, is under heavy scrutiny as health providers and medical professionals consider its long term effects, and the potential mis-labeling of its off brand counterparts.

Although MIRALAX was never approved for pediatric use, it became popular with parents due to its quick fix of childhood constipation. Many parents kept their children on the medication for years, with MIRALAX becoming a staple in family households across the country. Children can become dependent on the medication, and health professionals are beginning to voice concern with its overuse, and lack of parental education as to potential side effects.

Parents using medication should be especially wary of off-brand competitors, as the warning labels required for MIRALAX may not make it to the generic bottles. Many parents have adopted the off brand medications without a second throught, as few children’s medications maintain official FDA approval, and those that do come with a hefty price tag.

Although short term laxative use may be harmful, long-term side-effects are yet unknown, especially in children. Although no serious events have been reported, none of the current laxative testing has lasted for more than 12 weeks, leading researchers to believe that rarer, and more chronic effects are yet unknown.

Children’s bowel habits change throughout their young lives. If you notice a sudden or extreme change in your child’s bowel movements lasting for more than two weeks you should consult a physician immediately. Although treatment may be warranted, prescription medication is not always the answer. Many times bowl issues can be solved by slight changes to diet or daily routine. Eating a regularly balanced diet and avoiding allergens and other foods that the child may have an adverse reaction to will reduce the potential for bowel issues and limit the necessity for treatment. If you have been prescribed treatment incorrectly, consult an attorney immediately.