Should one take Miralax?
I've been prescribe Miralax by my doctor in preparation for a colonoscopy I'm going to have, but I have some reservations about this. Isn't Miralax basically just a liquid plastic? How can that be safe to eat? Won't your body absorb the plastic? Isn't there an herbal alternative?
Routine colonoscopy is one of the most important things for middle aged and older adults to do to prevent colon cancer! The doctors who will be able to discuss this issue with you in greater detail include your primary care doctor. Miralax, or polyethylene glycol, is a chemically inert substance that works as a laxative by drawing large amounts of water into the colon and creating liquid stool. It is quite a bit more comfortable to use than many other laxatives, as cramping and other unpleasant side effects are less. Additionally, it is not absorbed into the body at all, but simple passes through the intestine. In other words, there is no worry about toxic side effects at all! Unfortunately there are no good herbal substitutes for Miralax or other colon cleansing preparations. This is because the colon must be totally clean for the colonoscopy to work, and herbal preparations are not strong enough to do this. As always the management of your particular situation should be done by the physician who is in charge of setting up your colonoscopy. It is recommended that you contact their office to discuss the situation if you still have concerns.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.
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