MiraLax and other laxatives contain PEG 3350, a chemical similar to antifreeze that has been linked to severe neuropsychiatric disorders and kidney side effects — especially when it is given to children with intestinal diseases for years.
What is PEG 3350?
Polyethylene Glycol 3350 powder, also known as “PEG 3350,” is a laxative medication for short-term use in adults with occasional constipation.
PEG and Antifreeze Chemicals
PEG 3350 is often marketed as “all-natural.” It is made of Ethylene Glycol (EG), a toxic chemical found in antifreeze. Tests on MiraLax and other PEG laxatives have found low levels of EG left over from manufacturing PEG 3350. While EG is extremely toxic, PEG 3350 is relatively safe because it is usually poorly-absorbed by the body.
Is It Safe for Children?
PEG 3350 is NOT approved for children. Even so, many parents give their children PEG laxatives for months or years, even though it is only safe for up to 7 days in adults. No one knows how much children absorb, especially very young children who have underlying intestinal diseases or chronic constipation.
PEG 3350 Laxative Side Effects
The FDA has received thousands of reports of people who developed seizures, metabolic acidosis, neurological, psychiatric, and behavioral side effects of PEG laxatives. The investigation closed in August 2011, but neuropsychiatric events are listed as a “possible side effect.”
- Neuropsychiatric disorders
- Brain injury
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Mood disorders
- Repetitive chewing and sucking
- Mood swings
- Acute Kidney Injury
- Kidney damage
- Acute kidney injury
- Kidney failure
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD)
- Oxalate nephropathy
- Kidney transplant