Precautions and Warnings With Polyethylene Glycol 3350
If you are using polyethylene glycol 3350 for treating occasional constipation, it is important to know that this laxative may not be suitable for people with certain allergies or medical conditions. For example, you should not use this laxative if you have a bowel obstruction. Other safety precautions and warnings with polyethylene glycol 3350 apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking polyethylene glycol 3350 (MiraLAX®) if you have:
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain (stomach pain), and abdominal swelling (distention), which may be signs of a bowel obstruction
- A history of a bowel obstruction
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Precautions and WarningsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this laxative include the following:
- People with a blockage in the intestines (bowel obstruction) should not use this medicine. Make sure to see a healthcare provider before using polyethylene glycol 3350 if you have symptoms of a bowel obstruction. Also, tell your healthcare provider if you develop such symptoms while using this laxative. These may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal (stomach) distention or swelling
- Abdominal (stomach) pain and cramping.
- Although polyethylene glycol 3350 is not addictive, long-term use or overuse use could result in dependence on laxatives to produce a bowel movement or an imbalance of body salts (electrolyte imbalance). Do not take this medication for longer than seven days without first talking to your healthcare provider.
- People with certain medical problems, such as kidney disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), should only take polyethylene glycol 3350 under the direction of a healthcare provider. Therefore, talk to your healthcare provider before using this laxative if you have one of these conditions.
- Rare cases of an allergic reaction have been reported in some people using polyethylene glycol 3350. If you develop hives or a skin rash while using this laxative, stop using it and talk to a healthcare provider.
- It may take up to four days for polyethylene glycol 3350 to produce a bowel movement. Do not increase your dose if you do not have a bowel movement right away. Also, contact your healthcare provider if you do not have a bowel movement within four days.
- Certain lifestyle changes, such as adequate fiber and fluid intake and regular exercise, can help produce more regular bowel movements. Talk to your healthcare provider about other possible ways to avoid constipation.
- Polyethylene glycol 3350 is unlikely to react with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Polyethylene Glycol 3350).
- This product is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this laxative while pregnant (see MiraLAX and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if polyethylene glycol 3350 passes through breast milk, although it is not thought to do so. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see MiraLAX and Breastfeeding).