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April 2015

Is it safe to give my child Miralax?

Parents frequently ask me if it is safe to give their child a PEG laxative such as Miralax. Some of these parents have read on the internet or have been told by a friend that these laxatives cause "problems" in children. My answer is the same as that given by most pediatricians or pediatric gastroenterologists. Based on experience, these laxatives are safe.

The vast majority of children taking PEG 3350 experience no behavioral or psychiatric problems. However, for years the FDA has received occasional reports of tremors, tics and obsessive-compulsive behaviors in children taking PEG laxatives but it is not known whether the laxatives are the cause.

As reported early this year in the New York Times, the FDA has asked a group of doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to study the absorption of PEG 3350 in children, especially the very young and chronically constipated. The study is intended to find out whether PEG 3350 is absorbed in the intestines by young children and whether the use of PEG laxatives is linked to the development of behavioral or psychiatric problems. (www.

If your child is chronically constipated and your child's healthcare provider has recommended a PEG laxative, you can be reassured that there is currently no scientifically validated evidence that PEG laxatives are unsafe for children.