Is It Safe for Children to Take Adult Laxatives?

Fred Bodimer

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- Parents are questioning the long-term effects of an often used laxative in children.

KMOX Health Editor, Fred Bodimer reports that the drug is called, MiraLAX, which has been approved by the FDA for use as a laxative only by adults and for only seven days at a time, but some children have been taking the drug to alleviate constipation.

SLU Care pediatrician, Dr. Ken Haller at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center says one of the concerns is that there are some kids who get put on MiraLAX for months or years at a time.

Haller also says no long-term studies have been done on long-term use in kids, and while there is no reason to worry, Haller says, making sure children have a good diet is also important.

“One of the things that should be done anytime a pediatrician is using MiraLAX is to also make sure that other things are being done by the parents, such as making sure children are getting the proper nutrition and getting plenty of fiber and fluid in the diet,” Haller says.

Haller says MiraLAX is mostly used in children with central nervous system problems.

“In other kids, it can be a good thing to use for a short period of time to get them over the worst of things,” Haller says. “It really needs to be given in conjunction with counseling about diet and fluid intake.”

Haller says it would be helpful if parents could change their children’s diets to include more fruits and vegetables to help with regularity.



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