MiraLAX is a type of laxative approved to treat occasional constipation. Although it was originally available only with a prescription, it is now available as an over-the-counter, nonprescription product. The medication comes in powder form, which is dissolved in liquid and swallowed once daily. Although most people tolerate it well, side effects are possible and may include nausea and diarrhea, among others.
What Is MiraLAX?
MiraLAX® (polyethylene glycol 3350) is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication used to treat occasional constipation. It belongs to a class of drugs called laxatives. Like all OTC medications, it is available without a prescription.
MiraLAX was originally available by prescription only. In fact, a generic version is still available as a prescription medication. The prescription version is exactly the same as the over-the-counter version, but is more likely to be covered by insurance.
MiraLAX is made by Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
How Does MiraLAX Work?
MiraLAX contains polyethylene glycol 3350 (sometimes abbreviated as PEG-3350), an osmotic laxative. This laxative works by drawing water into the colon, making the stool soft, and increasing the number of bowel movements. MiraLAX will usually cause a bowel movement in one to three days.
Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Oral. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and November 26, 2010.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed November 26, 2010.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed November 26, 2010.
Micromedex Healthcare Series [Internet database]. Greenwood Village, Colo.: Thomson Reuters (Healthcare), Inc. Updated periodically. Accessed November 26, 2010.
MiraLAX Web site. http://www.MiraLAX.com/MiraLAX/consumer/default.jsp. Accessed November 26, 2010.
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