Constipation is so bothersome and generally decreases your daily productivity. People who have constipation tends to use Miralax as treatment. But, do you know how long does it take for Miralax to work? Is it instantly right after people use it? Or does it need some time to let the magic happens?
Before that, you should know what kind of drug is Miralax. Miralax is a medication in the form of laxative solution to treat irregular constipation or occasional bowel movements. It adds the water amount in the intestinal tract to provoke the movement of bowel.
People with bowel obstruction, intestinal blockage, and eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia should not use Miralax without doctor’s advice. Or else, you could have dangerous Miralax side effects.
Before Taking Miralax
Tell your doctor beforehand if you:
- Have allergy to any drugs
- Have irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, nausea or even vomiting with serious stomach pain, and kidney disease
- Have had an abrupt change in bowel habits that has lasted for 2 weeks at the very least
- Pregnant or planning to become pregnant since it’s still unknown if Miralax is harmful to an unborn baby.
- Breastfeeding a baby because it’s also unknown if Miralax passes into breast milk or if it is harmful to a nursing baby.
About taking Miralax during pregnancy, further information is explained below.
“There is no evidence about any animal studies. There are also no controlled data in human pregnancy. Systemic exposure if unavoidable, so clinically significant exposure of the baby is not expected. AU TGA pregnancy category B1: Drugs which have been taken by only a limited number if pregnant women and women of childbearing age, without an increase in the frequency of any malformation or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the baby having been observed. Although, studies in animals have not shown evidence of an increased occurrence of fetal damage. US FDA pregnancy category Not Assigned: The US FDA has amended the pregnancy labeling rule for prescription drug products to require labeling that includes a summary of risk, a discussion of the data supporting that summary, and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing decisions and counsel women about the use of drugs during pregnancy. Pregnancy categories A, B, C, D, and X are being phased out.” (Drugs.com)
In other words, Miralax is not recommended for pregnant women unless it’s needed. The same goes for women with nursing child.
The following will answer the question of how long does it take for Miralax to work. It should produce a bowel movement within 1 to 3 days of using the medication.
But how long the reaction occurs may vary depending on the individuals, their diets, how much fluid they take, their exercise, and other factors. Miralax is a polyethylene glycol 3350 type of drug which generally causes loose or even watery feces.
Take it precisely as instructed on the label or as prescribed by your doctor. Though Miralax is available in drugstore for purchase freely without prescription, still advice from healthcare provider is better because you can be increasing or lessening the amounts without knowing.
For Miralax powder, the dose marks are on the inside of the medicine cap. Measure your dose with it. Pour the water into 4 to 8 ounces (around 114 to 227 grams) of your preferable hot or cold beverages like juice, water, coffee, tea, or soda. Drink the mixture right away after you stir it. It is not for later consumption.
Miralax Side Effects
Miralax, like all medicines, has side effects which categorized as common and major ones. are including:
- Gassy, bloating, upset stomach,
- Belly pain,
- Stomach cramps,
- More frequent stools,
- Dizziness, or
- Increased sweating.
- Difficult breathing or talking,
- Unusual hoarseness,
- Tightness in the throat or chest,
- Swelling of your face, tongue, throat, or lips
- Swollen, red, peeling or blistered skin with or without fever
- Serious or even bloody diarrhea,
- Rectal pain or even bleeding,
- Very bad dizziness or even passing out,
- Very bad belly pain,
- Very bad belly bloating or cramping
- Blood in your feces, or
- Serious and worsening stomach pain
Miralax Drug Interactions
The drug interactions are classified as major, moderate, minor, and unknown. Major means you should avoid the drug combination because the risk is greater than the benefits.
Moderate means the combinations are usually avoided and only prescribed under special circumstances. Minor means the interaction has minimum risk. And unknown means the interaction has no information available.
The classifications are only a general guideline. It is rather hard to relate certain drug interaction with any individual as there is large number of variables.
Miralax, in Comparison
Apparently, in treating constipation and bowel preparation, there is another laxative beside polyethylene glycol 3350 in the brand of Miralax. It is bisacodyl. Let’s take a look at how they differ from each other.
|Difference||Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (Miralax)||Bisacodyl|
|Price||Miralax costs USD 1.77 (around IDR 23,500) per unit||While Bisacodyl costs a bit higher, USD 4.96 (around IDR 65,500) per unit|
|Form||Miralax comes in the form of oral powder for reconstitution which needs to be diluted with certain amount of beverages||While Bisacodyl comes in two forms. The one is oral delayed release tablet which taken by mouth and the other is rectal suppository which enters into human system through rectum|
|Brand Names||Other brands for polyethylene glycol 3350 are including ClearLax, GaviLax, GiaLax, PEG3350, and SunMark||While Bisacodyl is available in the brands of Alophen, Bisa-Lax, Carter’s Little Pills, Correctol, Doxidan Tablet, Ducodyl, Dulcolax, and many more|
|Side Effects||We’ve learned about Miralax side effects which has common and major one like has been mentioned previously. That's |
Gassy, bloating, upset stomach,
More frequent stools,
|Bisacodyl has them as well. Its side effects include
Faintness with therapeutic doses,
Electrolyte and fluid depletion
Diarrhea, and gastric irritation. Bisacodyl rectal administration may cause irritation and burning sensation of the rectal mucosa and mild proctitis
|Pregnancy Category||While the risk for Miralax in pregnant women cannot be ruled out||Bisacodyl has no proven risk in human, and in this case, in pregnant women|
|Drug Interaction||A total of 233 medicines are commonly known to have interactions with Miralax with 232 moderate and 1 minor drug interactions||A total of 282 medicines are commonly known to have interactions with bisacodyl with 281 moderate and 1 minor drug interactions|
Miralax Advantages and Disadvantages
When you get constipation, stool moves slowly through the colon allowing too much water to be removed and eventually makes the stool dry, hard, and difficult to pass. To cure that condition, you need laxative medicines.
However, not all laxatives work similarly with Miralax. Stimulant laxative pills like Senokot, Ex-Lax, and Dulcolax forcefully stimulate your colon nerves.
On the other hand, Miralax works with the water in your body to naturally unblock your system by hydrating, softening, and easing. These three steps are claimed to be without harsh side effects.
Miralax used effectively to cure constipation. But besides that, it can be used to clean the body before you have to undergo a surgery and clean the digestive tract as well as its main job is to encourage healthy and regular bowel movements.
When compared to other laxatives like bisacodyl brands, Miralax claims to be excellent for a few reasons. First, it appears as an osmotic laxative. Osmotic laxative means it works with the water within the body to ease and soften stool through the colon. Being works as an osmotic laxative makes Miralax to be more effective and less painful to its users.
Even so, there’s no such thing as perfect medicine in this whole world. Every drug has its own risk and benefits, advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of Miralax have been exposed in three previous paragraphs. It’s time to know what Miralax disadvantages are.
Home Remedies for Constipation
While we’re on the subject of constipation, here is some additional information about herbal laxatives which are able to stop constipation and prevent it from happening again.
Hopefully, when you reach the bottom of this article, your question of how long does it take for Miralax to work has found the answer. Nonetheless, all the things that informed in this article should not be used as your decision to take this type of medicine. Because, only health care providers have the knowledge and been on trainings to decide which medicine goes best for which patients.