Available without a prescription, polyethylene glycol 3350 (MiraLAX®) is approved to treat occasional constipation. Polyethylene glycol 3350 (sometimes abbreviated as PEG-3350) is the active ingredient in this medicine and belongs to a group of drugs called osmotic laxatives. It works by drawing water into the colon, making the stool soft, and increasing the number of bowel movements. This medicine will usually cause a bowel movement in one to three days.
Although most people tolerate this laxative well, PEG-3350 can cause side effects. Some of the most common problems include nausea, diarrhea, and gas. In most cases, however, reactions to this medication are mild and easy to treat.
PEG-3350 comes in the form of a powder, which is dissolved in a beverage (such as water, juice, or tea) and swallowed once a day. Do not use take this laxative for more than seven days without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.
(Click Polyethylene Glycol 3350 for the complete overview of this laxative. This Web resource discusses general dosing guidelines, safety concerns to be aware of, and the strengths available.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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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