MiraLAX Problems for Kids Raise Concerns About Seizures, Epilepsy, Other Side Effects

Following reports of seizures, epilepsy and other neurological side effects, a growing number of parents are raising serious concerns about problems with MiraLAX, an over-the-counter laxative that is commonly used on a long term basis to treat children suffering from constipation. 

About 18,000 individuals have joined a Facebook group established for parents concerned about the potential MiraLAX side effects. According to a recent media reports, many parents are describing a variety of problems they believe may have been caused by use of MiraLAX by their children, which is often recommended by pediatricians for extended periods of time.

In response to the concerns that have emerged in recent years, the FDA and National Institute of Health have helped fund a study designed to look into the risk of MiraLAX problems for children, providing a grant to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to evaluate concerns raised by parents that the laxative may be causing kids to experience anger, aggression, paranoia and other neuropsychiatric problems in pediatric users.

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MiraLAX was first approved by FDA in February 1999, as a prescription laxative. In 2006, it was approved for over-the-counter use, but it is not labeled for pediatric use or for use over extended periods of time. The active ingredient is Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) 3350, but some tests have also discovered small amounts of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol; ingredients found in antifreeze.

To date, the FDA has not placed a label warning on the drug regarding potential MiraLAX risks for children, indicating that there is currently insufficient evidence of a link between PEG 3350 and child psychological side effects. However, the agency did agree to fund further research following parents’ complaints, and acknowledges that it is aware that some doctors prescribe MiraLAX to children for long-term use.

According to a recent report by 13News in Norfolk, Bayer has defended the safety of the drug, indicating that while it is not approved for pediatric use, a number of clinical studies involving the active ingredient PEG 3350 have suggested it is safe for short-term and long-term use by children with chronic constipation.

The Facebook group Parents Against MiraLAX (PEG 3350) was established for parents and family members to discuss the effects the product has on their children, including alternative options and suggestions about ways to talk to doctors.

The FDA has previously confirmed that at least 167 reports of adverse events have been received involving children who experienced MiraLAX neuropsychiatric problems, but this appears to only represent a small fraction of the true number of issues experienced by kids nationwide.

11 Comments

  • MyaOctober 27, 2022 at 4:12 am

    My daughter has taken Miralax for years prescribed by her GI doctor. We've noticed behavior issues as well as the paranoia and other symptoms. With that being said we just experienced her first seizure. She was transported to the hospital by ambulance it was the scariest thing I've ever experienced.

  • effie/ethelJuly 14, 2022 at 7:18 am

    my daughter now 19 started taking miralax around 6 years old. took it for years and started having seizures. she was diagnosed with subcorticalband heteratopia. now Im told by a genics counseler you can have SBH and never know it. there is NO SBH in our history. she showed no signs of learning disability at a young age but as time went on and after using miralax, i was told she had a learning disa[Show More]my daughter now 19 started taking miralax around 6 years old. took it for years and started having seizures. she was diagnosed with subcorticalband heteratopia. now Im told by a genics counseler you can have SBH and never know it. there is NO SBH in our history. she showed no signs of learning disability at a young age but as time went on and after using miralax, i was told she had a learning disabilty!

  • JoMay 23, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    All I know is I have not had a convulsive seizure since Laser Ablation. Doctors goes through routine procedure of preparing for colonoscopy without thought and I took one hell of a fall. Then I get there for procedure and they say "OH WE CAN'T DO THIS OUTSIDE OF A HOSPITAL IN CASE THERE ARE COMPLICATIONS RELATED TO SEIZURE DISORDER". I'm bruised and sore from falling down steps for no reason. [Show More]All I know is I have not had a convulsive seizure since Laser Ablation. Doctors goes through routine procedure of preparing for colonoscopy without thought and I took one hell of a fall. Then I get there for procedure and they say "OH WE CAN'T DO THIS OUTSIDE OF A HOSPITAL IN CASE THERE ARE COMPLICATIONS RELATED TO SEIZURE DISORDER". I'm bruised and sore from falling down steps for no reason. I will not take the laxative cocktail again.

  • RuthMay 2, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    My daughter is 12 years old. Healthy and no issues. She's currently in the hospital today due to a seizure. 1st one in her life. She had one at school and while in the ER about 3 1/2 hours later. The only meds she takes is Miralax. Something told me to Google it and I came across a lot of information and complaints about Miralax and seizures. She didn't take it on a regular basis. Only when she ab[Show More]My daughter is 12 years old. Healthy and no issues. She's currently in the hospital today due to a seizure. 1st one in her life. She had one at school and while in the ER about 3 1/2 hours later. The only meds she takes is Miralax. Something told me to Google it and I came across a lot of information and complaints about Miralax and seizures. She didn't take it on a regular basis. Only when she absolutely needed it as needed prescribed by her pediatrician. I'll be having words with him!!!

  • RobertApril 20, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    My son took miralax for 3 days prescribed by hospital lost most of his vision temporarily and started having headaches and sever abdominal pains. Never had any problems like this before someone should be sued

  • AngelaFebruary 15, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    My son had a seizure the day after using Miralax for the first time. He's never had one before.

  • MikeNovember 12, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Our son was diagnosed with epilepsy after taking Miralax for nearly five years. We would administer the miralax and then he would have a cluster of seizures. Through some additional testing(stool analysis and an organic acid test) performed by our naturopath, we discovered that he had little lactobacillus(good bacteria), depleted glutathione, low amino acids and a few other concerning markers. A s[Show More]Our son was diagnosed with epilepsy after taking Miralax for nearly five years. We would administer the miralax and then he would have a cluster of seizures. Through some additional testing(stool analysis and an organic acid test) performed by our naturopath, we discovered that he had little lactobacillus(good bacteria), depleted glutathione, low amino acids and a few other concerning markers. A simple protocol of probiotics, glutathione and colostrum resolved many of his health issues. Miralax alters the microbiome leading to a litany of health issues.

  • MaleanaJune 18, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    My daughter was prescribed Miralax at 15 months old. She had her first seizure at 18 months. She had a total of 11 in one year. After extensive testing EKG, 2 EEG’s, no findings. I read an article about Miralax and immediately stopped using it. She’s been seizure free for over a year. The neurologist smirked when I explained what happened, however, her pediatrician said it makes sense. Do n[Show More]My daughter was prescribed Miralax at 15 months old. She had her first seizure at 18 months. She had a total of 11 in one year. After extensive testing EKG, 2 EEG’s, no findings. I read an article about Miralax and immediately stopped using it. She’s been seizure free for over a year. The neurologist smirked when I explained what happened, however, her pediatrician said it makes sense. Do not use this stuff!

  • ChristieApril 7, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Hi, my son was prescribed Miralax by a GI specialist 3 years ago. He took it for a year and a half, daily. He still takes it a few times a month. He was diagnosed in early December with a seizure disorder without any cause. Wondering if this could be the root cause of his sudden onset of seizures. Please contact me with further information. Thanks!

  • PatOctober 29, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    I gave my son miralax for a few day's recommended by his Dr he does have Epilepsy but the laxative increased his seizures for 2 day's upon stopping the laxative he stopped the seizures

  • JoAnnaDecember 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    My nine year old daughter was prescribed miralax for constipation. The doctor instructed to take a daily dose of miralax for a month. Two weeks into taking Miralax and she had suffered her first seizure. There is no family history of seizures and she is a healthy girl that never had this issue. Parents please be aware of these side effects.

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