I’m sure you would never in a million years give a deadly poison to a child.
Yet, several years ago, the FDA found trace amounts of two antifreeze chemicals when it examined some batches of the popular OTC laxative MiraLAX — a drug many pediatricians use as a long-term solution for childhood constipation.
If you think they must have immediately recalled the product and stripped it off shelves… well, it wasn’t. Doctors continued telling parents to give the drug to children — even toddlers.
And to this day they still are.
But where MiraLAX is concerned, those shocking findings aren’t even the worst of it.
The outcry about what the MiraLAX active ingredient, PEG 3350 (also called polyethylene glycol), may be doing to kids has just about reached the boiling point.
One example is a Facebook group with over 12,000 members, set up to warn other parents and grandparents about it, called “Parents against MiraLAX.”
On top of that, it says “A worried mother does better research than the FBI.” And, I might add — better than the FDA!
For over a decade now, parents and doctors have been sending in frightening reports to the FDA about aggression, rage, mood swings, paranoia and manic events in children — many just toddlers — after taking the drug.
Nicole Oerkfitz was given MiraLAX when she was three, and after taking it for a little over a week, she turned manic and aggressive. Sadly, although Nicole is now 19, she is still not “completely back to normal,” according to her mom, Jeanie Ward.
“I think they are poisoning our children,” Ward said.
Jessica Aman, another MiraLAX mom, said the drug caused her son to be “robbed of most of his childhood.” Still another described how her daughter developed “weird ticks” after taking it.
Ward was part of a petition sent into the FDA demanding an investigation be done. And years later, the agency finally gave the job to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where it is said to be currently ongoing.
But that may be a day late and a dollar short for untold numbers of children.
Back in 2009, the FDA conducted a so-called investigation into MiraLAX. And although it put the laxative on a list of drugs that have “potential signals of serious risks,” it added that “no action is necessary at this time.”
And that’s where it still sits today, despite the fact that FDA scientists discovered some samples contained trace amounts of highly toxic chemicals that are used in antifreeze! One, ethylene glycol, is responsible for poisoning thousands of animals every year due to antifreeze leaks from cars. In fact, it only takes a teaspoon of it to kill a cat.
Of course, those chemicals aren’t supposed to be in there. The FDA said they ended up in MiraLAX due to impurities that were caused by the “manufacturing process.” Whoops!
Look, I don’t care how those antifreeze chemicals got in there. Obviously, something is going on here, and the FDA has been dragging its feet like it’s stuck in molasses.
To top off this incredibly dangerous situation for kids, some pediatricians have no qualms about keeping their patients on MiraLAX for years. And that’s despite the fact that the label says it shouldn’t be given to anyone under 17… and for no longer than a week!
Certainly a child who “can’t go” needs help, but with everything we now know about MiraLAX, it obviously isn’t worth the risk.
But if a child you love is currently taking MiraLAX (or a generic version, like Powderlax, ClearLAX, Smooth LAX, and so on), you should know that doctors advise not to stop them cold turkey, but slowly reduce the dosage.
Along with the usual advice to up fiber, water and exercise, experts say these tips can help move things along:
- Try to establish a “bathroom routine” at the same time every day to help them get into the habit of “going.”
- If a child’s constipation is chronic, a pediatrician should investigate possible problems in their colon, thyroid issues and even food allergies.
- Try cutting down on dairy products while increasing the “P” foods — prunes, pears, plums and peaches.
Those tips might help get grown-ups back on track, too. Because kids aren’t the only ones who shouldn’t be taking antifreeze.
“Parents say over-the-counter medicine is sickening kids” Wendy Saltzman, February 17, 2017, ABC 7, abc7news.com