Pros: It works, odorless, tasteless. Dosing is easy with the cap.
I began having some stomach problems over ten years ago. The first problems were diagnosed as acid reflux, and that is likely what they were. I took an acid reducer for a while, watched what I ate, and raised the head of my bed and the problem went away after while. About 5 years later, I begin to have a slight pain in the lower right side of my abdomen as well as occasional constipation. I saw the doctor who then sent me to a specialist where I had some tests done to find nothing. They recommended consuming more fiber, so I tried that and it helped for several years. Last October, I began to have the pain in my abdomen again, but this time it was worse.
I started taking an acid reducer again which helped a little bit. I saw my doctor (different one then before since I had moved) again and he put my on a strong prescription acid reducer. That reducer helped, but not much more than the over the counter one. He suspected it may be my gall bladder but it was not. A few days later, I was in the emergency room from a major anxiety attack which I thought was a stroke since my right hand and shoulder were numb. While in the ER, they tested me for just about anything and did not find anything conclusive. I went to back to the doctor a few days later and he sent me to a GI specialist. At this doctors office, I saw a PA who was quick to dismiss everything as irritable bowel syndrome. She suggested taking something like Benefiber, which I did, but that only made my painful bloating worse. She also recommended I go in for a colonoscopy. I was apprehensive about that but went for it and it showed nothing. I missed one of my appointments with that office and it would have taken three months to see them again, so I decided to see another specialist. This time I got to see a real MD who knew what he was doing and he suspected I may have celiac disease. I went in for an upper endoscopy (EGD) which showed my problem: a couple of bleeding spots and reflux backing up to and damaging the esophagus. Finally we are getting somewhere!
I saw this doctors PA at my follow-up visit but she seemed much more knowledgeable than the one at the other office. She recommended I start taking Miralax, which I had not tried. I had not had much luck with most other laxatives, including a strong prescription sample the doctor had previously given me. Most of these other products made my cramping much worse but did not provide the type of relief from constipation I needed. They were mostly stimulant laxatives which make you go, but not in the way that is needed. I didnt expect much from Miralax because of my previous experiences, but I thought I would give it a shot after reading some positive reviews here on Epinions and elsewhere.
I had glanced at Miralax before and knew that it was somewhat expensive for an over the counter product. Luckily, I had a $2 off coupon and bought the small 4.1 ounce plastic bottle, which was about $8 before the discount. This container contains seven daily adult doses at 17 grams per dose, so that comes out to about $1 per day.
The label states that is Original Prescription Strength and also that it Relieves Occasional Constipation and Softens Stool. It also says Polyethelyne Glycol 3350 Powder for Solution, Laxative. The label on the back states that the active ingredient in each dose is 17 grams of polyethylene glycol 3350, thus it is the only ingredient in the prducts. It states that the product is to relieve occasional constipation or irregularity and that it generally produces a bowel movement in 1-3 days. Obviously, this isnt a fast acting stimulant laxative, so it should not be used if relief is desired immediately. The label has the usual warnings stating not to use the product if you have certain symptoms and to not take it if you are breastfeeding. It also says to consult a doctor if you are taking any prescription medication and not to use it for more than seven days.
The directions are to take mix 17 grams (for adults) into four to eight ounces of any hot or cold beverage, stir, then drink. The cool thing is that the cap doubles as a measuring device and has a line for the full adult dose of 17 grams (it says do not use for children 16 and under unless directed by a doctor).
The product is odorless and tasteless and dissolves pretty well, although not completely, in cold water. It turns the cold water cloudy, but it does not make the water gritty. It does, however, make the water seem a little bit thick. The product did not make my bloating or cramping worse as other laxatives did and I think it actually helped subside it. I did not have immediate relief, but continued to take every day as per the label directions. On the third day, it made a difference, but it was not a sense of urgency. It actually just made the trips to the restroom a little easier with less effort. After I took it for about 5 days, I forget to take it for a few days and noticed a difference, so just today I started taking it again.
Miralax is expensive, but it might be worth the price for you. It doesnt make stomach problems worse as some laxatives do and it doesnt make you go right away, but it makes going easier.