If your child is suffering from constipation, you may want to think twice about giving them Miralax to alleviate their symptoms. Since 2014, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been conducting a study about potential disturbing side effects of the over-the-counter drug on kids who consume it.
When the FDA-grant-funded study first began, the federal agency stated that Miralax powder contains polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350), which may degrade into two different toxic ingredients found in antifreeze. A description of the study found on the National Institutes of Health website explains this alarming discovery a bit more in depth.
"The Food and Drug Administration has received a number of reports of adverse events in children taking PEG products," the FDA said. "The Agency has conducted a review that documented a number of reports of neurological and psychiatric events associated with chronic PEG use in children."
Although the study is still in progress and its findings have therefore not been released yet, many parents are coming forward to confirm the FDA's suspicions. Jeanie Ward told ABC6 about how her daughter Nicole was told to take Miralax when she was just 3 and a half years old, even though the drug is typically not recommended for anyone younger than 17 years of age.
Ward described her daughter's "near psychiatric events with paranoia, mood swings, aggression, and rage" after consuming Miralax. Nicole, who is now 19, expressed how she was a "very, very happy child," but that she started "hating everybody" and "wanted to kill everybody" in second grade. "I'm mad that this happened to me," Nicole told ABC6.
But Nicole isn't the only one who has been negatively affected by the medicine, as more than 4,000 parents have joined the Facebook group titled Parents Against Miralax (PEG 3350) to share their stories. The group members discuss the cons of the drug as well as how to approach doctors about its harmful effects.
Until the results of the hospital's study are released, it may be best to consult your child's doctor and avoid giving them Miralax for constipation. You can also try natural ways to relieve their discomfort, such as fiber-rich foods or prune juice.