By Emily Cox
A recent report presents disturbing claims that children have developed neuro-psychiatric problems after taking MiraLax.
The FDA doesn’t recommend MiraLax for children under 17 and limits use to seven days. However, according to a recent investigative report, families are claiming that pediatricians prescribe it like water and for extended periods of time to treat constipation in children.
While many parents view MiraLax as a godsend for their children’s constipation, several families are coming forward and reporting scary MiraLax side effects in their children. These side effects include behavioral issues, speech problems, anxiety, aggression, and depression.
6 ABC Action News reported that a doctor advised Jeanie Ward to give her three-year-old daughter, Nicole, the laxative. However, within 10 days, Nicole’s personality had drastically changed.
“Near psychiatric events with paranoia, mood swings, aggression, rage, the OCD repetitive chewing” Ward said. “It was horrifying to see my daughter change like that and to not completely go back to normal.”
Ward is not alone. Numerous other families shared similar stories with Action News.
“We saw a lot of the anger, a lot of the rage, a lot of the aggression,” parent Mike Kohler said. “I trusted the medical community, and they absolutely robbed me of part of my fatherhood.”
These sentiments are echoed by Jessica Aman and Sarah Locatelli.
“I feel like my son was absolutely robbed of most of his childhood,” she said.
“After six days on MiraLax, we noticed overnight he acted out of character,“ Locatelli said. “He had the rage, fears, phobias, anxieties.”
While Natalie Saenz had doubts due to MiraLax’s label indications, she trusted her pediatrician. He recommended MiraLax for off-label use on her daughter for eight months.
“All of a sudden, she started having these weird ticks,” Saenz said.
MiraLax Families Fight Back
These families and others complained to the FDA and formed a Facebook group with more than 3,000 members where other families have voiced similar concerns.
Ward also helped write a petition to the FDA to include a warning label and a MiraLax investigation. Consequently, the petition won a $325,000 study of a MiraLax ingredient – Polyethylene Glycol (PEG).
“I think they are poisoning our chidren,” Ward said.
After the FDA reported 167 adverse side effects in kids, the agency awarded the study to CHOP. The FDA also found small amounts of the antifreeze ingredients in the laxative.
For now, the study is ongoing. Meanwhile, these families are urging pediatricians to avoid MiraLax recommendations. Instead, adding fiber rich foods and prune juice to a child’s diet can help move things along without the cost to mental health.