A recent report from 6abc has questioned the safety of Miralax®, a common laxative to treat or prevent constipation. Parents in Philadelphia have claimed that they saw mood changes and increase in aggression, among other symptoms, in their children after taking Miralax®. This has prompted a study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to investigate the safety of Miralax®. However, miralax has been researched extensively already, so until this new study suggests otherwise, the short evidence based answer for whether or not you should continue giving Miralax® to your children, is yes.
Questions arose as far back as 2015, and pediatrician Natasha Burgert, MD responds in a post on KevinMD.com. She concludes that “current research supports the effective use of Miralax® for severe constipation…. meanwhile, use of the product at its lowest effective dose continues to be recommended.” She suggests using alternatives such as fiber supplements, and reiterating adequate hydration and exercise for treatment of the mildest cases of constipation.
Another pediatrician Kristen Stuppy, MD talks more about the components of Miralax®. Both Dr. Stuppy and a post from parents.com also conclude that there is no need to stop Miralax®. In fact, more than 100 studies have already demonstrated the safety of Miralax®.
Constipation can cause severe pain and behavioral changes as well, so for now, it seems the benefits of Miralax® outweight the not-yet-substantiated-still-being-studied risks. In addition, of course, continue to provide lots of water and offer high fiber foods to your child. As usual, talk to your child’s doctor if you have questions about this topic.