WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Miralax- Maybe not as safe as the Drs. say-

What is Miralax
Miralax has active ingredients of polyethylene glycol 3350. It is used in constipation, irritable bowel syndrome.

On Apr, 23, 2012: 4,865 people who reported to have side effects when taking Miralax are studied

If people were to have side effects while taking Miralax, what are they:
(1) Asthenia: 1,011 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old
(2) Dyspnoea: 878 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old
(3) Vomiting: 858 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old
(4) Anxiety: 710 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old
(5) Pyrexia: 696 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old
(6) Diarrhoea: 694 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old
(7) Nausea: 571 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old, and is moderate
(8) Constipation: 526 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old, and can be severe
(9) Pain: 519 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old
(10) Fatigue: 502 reports. It's more common among females aged 60+ years old, and can be severe

Patient comments in a side effect forum

After taking my first dose of Miralax, I experienced severe dizxiness. It lasted for approximately 5 hours. I reported it to my doctor's office, by way of a voice mail, as no human answers the phone at doctors offices anymorel You are at their mercy

I started taking Miralax and became dehydrated, had water retention, sweats, tremors, heart palpatations, high blood pressure, could not sleep and had no energy. This stuff is terrible as far as I am concerned. I took the last dose yesterday am and

I have been on Miralax, one capful a day for 3 months now. I am experiencing severe dizzyness/vertigo, not sure it if is related to Miralax. Has anyone else had these same symptoms

I started Miralax and unsure when is the best time to take it. So I started it at night time. The first night not to bad, but a lot of gassiness. Second night the same, but palpations, weakness and insomnia. Has anyone experienced these side effects.

miralax is giving me cramps all the time. it is worse after I eat.

i had a terrible experience with Miralax........first day i was ok but from second day i started severe diarrhea,bloating associated with cramping abdominal pain......and today is the 4th day my diarrhea is controlled but i am feeling very weak and s

Russell34 please contact me. I believe horrible things have resulted from the use of this drug. I believe it is a detriment to society and again Big Pharma at it's best, lying all in the name of money!

My experience with Miralax was a nightmare. I had a severe allergic reaction which involved hives, splitting headaches, abdominal pain, rectal burning, serious back pain and excema, which covered my head, neck and face. As soon as I stopped taking it

I will not use this drug because it has fluoride in it

Do not give this to your children.  It says right on the bottle do not give to children.  My son went to summer camp and the nurse accidently gave him to much and he had had bloody diarrieah for a week now.  I am never usin

every time I try to take it..  reccomended adult dose, my legs and feet swell and feel really tingly - like I'm walking on mush.. or baloons or rubber or something.. it's totally wierd - yet, I do usually get a BM within hours!!

So, after reading this far I decided to try to find the "COMPLETE" list of Miralax side effects. Went to the Miralax website- nope.
Went to WebMD- and found this
;Nausea, abdominal cramping, or gas may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Inform your doctor immediately if you have excessive number of bowel movements, persistent diarrhea, or rectal bleeding while using this medication.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

At this point I am getting annoyed- Where is this "complete" list of miralax side effects?

So I search for "complete list of miralax side effects" still limited results on my search but did find this site that lists "reported side effects to the FDA".

Here are a few side effects that were reported that caught my eye-


Reactions: Weight Decreased, Eczema, Pyrexia, Cardiac Disorder, Dermatitis, Blood Pressure Inadequately Controlled, Electrocardiogram T Wave Abnormal, General Physical Health Deterioration, Renal Cyst, Tremor, Cholelithiasis, Insomnia, Dehydration, Vision Blurred, Thyroid Adenoma, Mesenteric Vascular Insufficiency, Fluid Intake Reduced, Renal Pain, Atelectasis, Hepatic Function Abnormal, Mental Status Changes, Constipation, Renal Artery Arteriosclerosis, Fatigue, Anorectal Disorder, Aortic Arteriosclerosis, Dizziness, Bilirubin Urine, Depression, Urinary Tract Infection, Lung Neoplasm, Anxiety, Lung Disorder, Renal Failure, Barrett's Oesophagus, Hypophagia, Influenza Like Illness

Adverse event resulted in: life threatening event, hospitalization

Suspect drug(s):

Reported by a consumer/non-health professional from United States on 2010-03-02

Patient: 56 year old female

Reactions: Weight Decreased, Hepatic Function Abnormal, Lung Neoplasm, Dyschezia, Renal Cyst, Cholelithiasis, Drug Toxicity, Barrett's Oesophagus, Renal Impairment, Asthenia, Myocardial Infarction, Influenza Like Illness

Suspect drug(s):

Reported by a consumer/non-health professional from United States on 2010-02-25

Patient: 57 year old female, weighing 88.5 kg (194.6 pounds)

Reactions: Dreamy State, Hemiparesis, Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Speech Disorder, Abnormal Dreams, Emotional Disorder, Oxygen Saturation Decreased, Migraine, Hashimoto's Encephalopathy, Hypoaesthesia, Hepatic Enzyme Increased, Heart Rate Decreased, Syncope, Visual Impairment, Memory Impairment, Feeling Abnormal, Asthenia

Suspect drug(s):
Dosage: 17 gm; qd; po
Administration route: Oral
Indication: Constipation
Start date: 2009-07-01
End date: 2009-11-10

Other drugs received by patient: Aspirin / 00002703 /; Calcium Magnesium / 01320801 /; Potassium; Levothyroxine Sodium; Multi-Vitamins

Reported by a consumer/non-health professional from United States on 2009-12-22

Patient: 77 year old female

Reactions: Back Pain, Vomiting, Nausea, Pain, Muscular Weakness, Cerebrovascular Accident, Abdominal Pain Upper, Dizziness, Muscle Spasms

Adverse event resulted in: death

Suspect drug(s):

So quite a list for a product that markets itself as almost side effect free! Maybe if I called the FDA number or Miralax directly they would give me the "COMPLETE" list of side effects? I can always ask our pharmacist too. I do understand that there is a big difference between a "rare" side effect and a more "common" one.. but considering Abby reacts to many "common" and "uncommon" items she is at higher risk to experience one of those "rare" side effects.

So what exactly is Miralax? Here is the Wiki definition-Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a polyether compound with many applications from industrial manufacturing to medicine. It has also been known as polyethylene oxide (PEO) or polyoxyethylene (POE), depending on its molecular weight, and under the tradename Carbowax.

Here is an easier to understand definition-

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is made from ethylene glycol (ethane-1,2-diol), the main ingredient in antifreeze. When ethylene glycol (molecular weight, 62.07) polymerizes, reacts with itself (in water), the reaction yields a variety of products containing varying numbers of ethylene glycol units. These products are all called PEGs. The general molecular formula for PEG is H(OCH2CH2)nOH, where n represents the number of ethylene glycol units contained in the PEG polymer. PEGs have many industrial, food and pharmaceutical uses.
Other People Are Reading
Definition of Polyethylene Glycol Polyethylene Glycol Safety

Types of PEGs
The molecular weights of PEGs are determined by the number of ethylene glycol units incorporated into each PEG polymer and vary from 300 grams per mole to 10,000,000 grams per mole. The molecular weight in turn determines the characteristics of each type or category of PEG. Low molecular weight PEGs, containing two-to-four ethylene glycol units per polymer, are clear, watery liquids. PEGs containing up to 700 ethylene glycol units per polymeric product are clear, thick liquids. PEGS having 1,000 or more ethylene glycol units per polymeric product are waxy solids.

Characteristics of PEGs
PEGS are non-toxic, odorless, colorless, nonirritating and do not evaporate easily. PEGs are considered inert (they do not react with other materials), and they are nontoxic. PEGs are soluble in many organic solvents. All PEGs readily dissolve in water and do not change the color, odor or taste of the water.

Medical Uses of PEGs
The characteristics of PEGs make them excellent materials for use in the pharmaceutical industry. PEGs are used as lubricants and are employed in a variety of pharmaceutical products as solvents, dispensing agents, ointments, delivery liquids for medications, fillers for tablets, as suppository bases, in ophthalmic solutions and as a treatment for constipation. PEGs are also used in veterinary products.

Industrial Uses of PEGS
In manufacturing processes, PEGS are used as water-based coatings, anti-dusting agents in agricultural products, brighteners in electroplating, cleaners and detergents, moisturizers in cosmetic products, dye carriers for paints and inks, packaging products, non-stick agents for molded products, color stabilizers for paper, ceramics manufacture, a softener and anti-static agent in textile manufacture and in soldering fluxes.

Oral Health Uses of PEGs
PEGs, in combination with other products, are used in toothpastes, breath fresheners and mouthwashes, including anti-plaque and antiseptic mouth rinses. PEGs are used to keep all ingredients in solution and to increase the shelf-life and stability of the products.

I also found a site where they found polyethylene glycol in their sunburn relief aloe Vera- apparently, using polyethylene glycol on a sunburn is know to cause bad reactions,so why did the manufacturer put the stuff in a product made for sun burn relief?

My conclusions are this chemical is in a lot of products from medical to cosmetics to toothpaste to industrial. Abby is unique in that she develops reactions to products she is repeatedly exposed to.. We have months now of exposure to Miralax- maybe some of the new symptoms we are seeing in Abby are the results of a reaction to the Miralax(or all PEG's). Abby said she is down to every other 3rd day for the Miralax now. I am hoping she will tolerate the blackstrap molasses, maybe some ground flax seed and few other more "natural" laxatives now that her stomach and intestines seem far better then they were over the holidays. You would think I would have researched the Miralax when the Drs. recommended it and have all consistently reassured me that it was safe- nope, I trusted since "everyone" said it was safe and over the counter that it was safe for Abby. I used to think the same thing about Tylenol- until Kristi over at Babyfoodsteps dug up a lot of research indicating that Tylenol may not be as safe as we have been told.

NOTE to self- Read ALL Labels! Research what you are exposing your body to on a daily basis. You might be surprised by what manufacturers are bathing us in day in and day out...


Jenna said...

I am glad that with Matt's new formula he is not having to use it as often. It is so scary all of the chemicals we put in our body and our children's body.

Sara Yost said...

I believe this product is very safe for most people, however, there are always rare occasion of adverse reactions. These reactions can be due to many different reasons such as allergies, intolerances, drug interactions, genetics, or medical conditions, to name a few. I'm 25 and my primary problems are lymphocytic colitis and extreme neurological migraines. I took miralax to combat side effects from my many medications, 6 I have to take everyday and 6 as needed. 2 hours later I had severe esophagus spasms that's required an ER visit. These spasms are normal for both conditions I have, however, I never experienced them before I took miralax. It's now 9/17/12 and I still experience the painful cramps and spasms after eating. I found a combination of muscle relaxers like flexeril, tranquilizers like Xanax, and bentyl for the colitis, and a pain killer helps the pain. This is not a normal reaction, I speculate this was a drug interaction combined with bad brain chemistry from my medical conditions. Always ask your doctor before taking an OTC product. Check with all your specialist, if applicable. Try an a nature product first if possible. I hope this information may help other. Stay health, love hard.

Sara Yost said...

I apologize, my ER visit was on 8/26/12.

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