Articles, DRUGS

Polyethylene Glycol (miralax, glycolax) – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

If you start the day with your stomach swelling up due to constipation and there’s no way to get rid of it, you can very well guess the rest of the day is going to be quite an unfortunate one. The feeling with constipation is that it prevents normal bowel passing therefore resulting in the bowel consistency to be super dry and hard. This is a medical condition which can easily be treated but the main reason for unusual bowel problems is still not entirely sure. The world presently now believes in urbanization with maximum of the agricultural fields uprooted to make towns and cities. Hence with limited agricultural spaces and more mouths to feed, the latest technologies include pesticides and heavy fertilizers to tame the crop and ensure maximum productivity. The food quality, in a nutshell therefore can be blamed for unusual bowel as does the busy lifestyle where we often forget how to maintain the healthy life the easy way. due to the extreme quality of lives now a days, it is quite natural for people to move around at a faster speed enjoying life in a much more intense setting, thereby often neglecting self care unless something serious comes up.

To prevent minor problems like constipation, we therefore have medicines such as the one we mention in this article that is a laxative in nature and would help you overcome bowel passing restraints or complication. The generic name for this drug is polyethylene glycol 3350, but the medication is often sold under brand names like glycolax or miralax. It is believed that inducing moisture into the bowel consistency will loosen up the texture and would therefore help us deal with hardened stools and irregular bowel conditions in a better way. this is why this is called osmotic type laxative where laxative stands for a medicinal approach that would help you ease up on the dilemma.

polyethylene glycol


The one and only problem that this drug caters to is the irregularity of bowels that often may cause other side effects. Usually constipation occurs when the colon muscles are working too softly thereby pushing the stool formed in a slow paced rate which is why the irregular bowel occurs. Now at this point, it is the job of a laxative to loosen up the bowels and force them out of your body by simply facilitating the process whilst acting as a catalyst. This laxative in particular as mentioned before is an osmosis type laxative which is when the laxative introduced to your body adds water to the stools and loosens up the consistency which makes stool passage easier. Therefore one such benefit of this medicine can be treated as constipation cure. Miralax for constipation cure surely works wonders as it cures dreary constipation but apart from simply helping you get rid of constipation, you can even use this medicine as a bowel preparation. If you have inconsistency or is simply not happy with your morning bathroom runs, use this laxative to help you deal with them all.


Usually your doctor will prescribe to you the dosage unit based on your medical requirement. However this medication can easily be obtained off the counter without any hassle for prescription which is why you can self govern yourself for this ailment. However, a polyethylene glycol dose should be taken only after a few considerations like your age, weight and your body’s intake capability. It is better if you start with a smaller dose and if you feel the results are ineffective you can move on to a higher dose. Usually it is your doctor who prescribes how high the dose can be.

The medication is usually availed in a powder form and should strictly be taken by mouth. Often if you are self governing yourself, always opt for the individually packed pouches that has the exact amount that you require for a single dose. You can just cut the packet and mix it in the water before drinking it. if you are going for the bulk, it comes with a special measuring spoon that you can use to measure the doses before mixing them with water.

The with food or without food part should be consulted with your doctor. Often at times the medicine can be mixed with subsidiary liquids such as tea or coffee or even juice instead of plain water and should usually be consumed once a day everyday preferably if the dosage is at low or normal. You may opt for twice a day doses but only at a higher dose event. Also, try not to immediately lie down after the medicine intake. The medicine takes a day or two to kick in and by the fourth day the results should start showing. However, if even after one week of increasing dosage, your result is not satisfactory, the strict suggestion would be you move on to a doctor for consultation instead of still trying on your own.


If you are under a doctor’s consultation, the doctor will prescribe to you the apt miralax dosage that would be sufficient for you. however if you are opting for over the counter medicine, always make sure you know the right amount for the dose based on your age, weight and even the intensity of your medical requirement.

It is usually advised that you start with a slow dosage, the initial amount and you can then work your way up to a higher amount if need be. The usual dosage for an adult for his bowel constipation problem can be kept at a dosage unit of 17, that is, the miralax 17g dose. This is a daily dose for once a day consumption and you can mix this with orange juices or coffee instead of water if need be. However it is usually advised that you do not mix the medicine with any sort of energy drink or alcoholic drink to make sure you can optimize the benefits of this medication to the fullest. The same dosage unit, 17g can be used as an adult dose for bowel preparation which can be used as a daily dose.

The pediatric dose for both bowel preparation and constipation should be strictly kept in the doctor’s hand. A dosage for a baby who is below six months of age should be kept at 05 to 1.5g while for children above 2 years, they can resume the usual dosage of 17g, the maximum dosage for this being miralax 100g which is a high dose and should strictly be consulted with the doctor before usage, especially on a child.


For the precautions list, we shall start the initial caution word with pregnancy and the use of this medicine during that term. Usually if pregnant, this medicine should be used strictly as and when required and that too under strict doctor’s guidance. Too much of anything, is a bad omen for the pregnancy term.

Also, this medication contains a lot of inactive ingredient and therefore before using this on a child make sure the dosage unit is low enough for her to not experience over dosing symptoms. Usually yet another caution word can be raised about the elders. Since polyethylene glycol uses water retention technique in the stool to give it a softer texture, for the geriatric doses, this may often result in diarrhea since their intake or combating capability is usually lower than an adults or a child’s.

Always keep an eye out on side effects and be careful with the dosage. If you are not sure about it, always ask your pharmacist for help or just simply consult a doctor. Always stay within the guideline dosage of 17g if you are self treating yourself. Also, in case of side effects strictly consult the doctor.


The term interaction with other medications usually means that any point of time one particular medicine in your system may or may not react with another medicine that is either present in the system from before due to prior use or maybe a medicine that you introduced in your system whilst using another medicine. The reaction when the two medicines interact is often not on the good side and therefore one should always at all time furnish a list of your medical history and the medicines consumed to your doctor so that he can prescribe to you the right amount.

Usually allergy medicines or medicines related to renal or liver problems may interact with this. Also, if you are already treating your bowel problem with another medication, you should either discontinue the old one or refrain from intake of this medicine to remove interactive risks.


Side effects pertain to each and every drug where some are of essence when the side effects show up quite regularly and possibly in heavier situations. Basically these side effects arise because of the introduction of foreign substances in the system or it may also be a sign of allergy telling you how your body is not compatible with the medication. While for some these side effects can be well negligible for many others this might be a serious issue. Some of the most common side effects to this laxative can be:

  • Diarrhea: diarrhea is a serious side effect resulting from over dosing where constipation is the problem and over doing on this medicinal drug can result in severe diarrhea symptoms where your bowel passing frequency heightens and may even cause change in the bowel consistency from solid to liquid.
  • Muscle cramps: muscle cramps start with abdominal pain mainly and can persist even after you are done with the medicine period. in case the cramp is too much to handle, go consult your doctor or else you can just wait out the pain. muscle cramps may also move around from your abdomen to your lower back causing severe stiffness and redness at times.
  • Fatigue and nausea: with problems like diarrhea or muscle paining, it is natural that this drug may also induce fatigue in the system. extreme cases of tiredness may even cause day time sleeping and at times like this doctor’s guidance should be sought.
  • Allergy symptoms: sometimes this medicine may not be compatible with your system which is when allergic reactions in the form of swelling of face, neck or palm may persist. Along with this skin irritations or hives in the form of red blotchy rashes may occur.
  • Bloating: bloating is yet another polyethylene glycol side effects that you may want to keep an eye out on.
  • Rectal bleeding: this is one of the rarest cases in which one may or may not experience severe rectal pain. This can be felt while passing bowel or whilst sitting in an uncomfortable surface. Things get more serious when this rectal pain turns into rectal bleeding or spotting. Immediately consult the doctor in case this persists.
  • Dizziness and increased sweating: here is yet another form of side effect where dizziness may persist along with nausea already mentioned above. Along with this sweating may increase manifold which is something that you should keep an eye out on. In worst situations terrible fever and chills along with cold sweat may persist.

Constipation or problems in passing bowel is a serious concern and can often be heightened with repeated digestion problems that bother you. Now in the busy days, it is quite impossible for a person to take out time out of his tightly packed schedule to sit at home treating his bowel problems and therefore useful and easy laxatives like glycolax or miralax helps you treat these ailments with finesse.