Why Not Miralax?

Good question. According to pediatrician Dr. Scott Cohen, Miralax is often prescribed to children for months, sometimes years. “We literally give it like water,” he told the New York Times.
This is shocking to me for two reasons:

1. Miralax is not even approved for children.

2. It’s only supposed to be used in adults for amaximum of seven days.

Even more concerning is that fact that a growing number of parents have reported psychiatric and behavioral side effects – including tremors, tics and obsessive compulsive disorder – after their children took Miralax. In 2011, the FDA listed “neuropsychiatric events” as a possible side effect and asked researchers to take another look at safety. Initially they said no action was required, but recently they requested additional research.
At issue is whether the active ingredient in Miralax, PEG 3350, is absorbed differently in “children who are constipated, have underlying intestinal disease, or are very young.” 
The safety of PEG 3350 hinges on whether or not it is absorbed systemically in children –
 something we simply don’t know due to a lack of research.
“Every pediatric GI physician, I would guarantee you, has told a family this is a safe product,” Dr. Kent C. Williams, a gastroenterologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital told the New York Times. Now, he says, “it may not be true.”
For me, the bottom line is that parent have reported serious adverse effects from this drug, and no research has been done that proves it is safe for children. I love my children’s doctor and have found him to be very willing to answer questions and concerns when they come up. If we ever ran into a situation that moved beyond occasional constipation I would certainly seek guidance, but based on what I’ve read I would work with my doctor to find alternatives.

Getting Things Moving With Constipation Candy

Fortunately for the occasional bout of constipations there are ways to encourage normal bowel function. My friend Robyn shared this recipe with me after finding it helpful for her son.
According to Robyn, “The theory is that since the medium chain triglycerides that make up coconut oil don’t cause a person to store fat, they have limited absorption in the small intestine and tend to pass right through the digestive tract.” This unique feature of coconut oil is thought to support function and efficiency in the digestive tract.
“Just two ‘constipation candies’ and then anywhere between 8 to 18 hours later, total relief without tears,” says Robyn, adding that “For kids I’d stick with 2 pieces and wait a day before increasing how much they can have. For adults I’d start with 4 and try adding an extra each day to see what your body likes the most. “

Constipation Candy Recipe


  • 1 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of lemon juice (mix and taste as you go along)*
  • 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
* Mommypotamus note: I also made up a batch with pureed fruit that was pretty good. Just make sure that if you’re using fruit from your freezer that you allow it to fully thaw before mixing it with the coconut oil.


1-2 Silicone molds (You can use the same mold and make two batches, or use two molds and make one batch.


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or with a handheld mixer and pour into the candy molds. Taste as you go along and make it as sweet or sour as you like. Everything has to be very well mixed into the oil, so make sure as you’re pouring the last bit in that it’s not sugar or honey-heavy.
Tip: My first batch separated, so the second time I made them I put my silicone mold in the freezer for about 10 minutes prior to pouring. When it was time,  I let the mixture whir in my food processor for sixty full seconds before pouring it into the molds, then set it in the freezer for an hour.
Store in the fridge and enjoy as needed. No one in my house is constipated but we ate a few anyway – so good! Previous Page


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