Miralax vs Colace - Comparasion Between Stool Softener Medications

Miralax

It is the brand name of a drug called polyethylene glycol 3350, a laxative solution which works by bringing water into the bowels. This makes the bowels retain water and helps keep the digestive system regular.

Uses

This over-the-counter laxative medication is typically used to treat occasional constipation.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 17 grams of powder a day in 8 ounces of water, soda, juice, tea, or coffee. Taking this medicine should produce a bowel movement within 1 to 3 days.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

Rare side effects may include:

  • rectal bleeding;
  • bloody diarrhea;
  • worsening stomach pain;
  • blood in the stools.

Colace

It is the brand name of a drug called docusate. It belongs to the family of medicines known as stool softeners and works by allowing fats and water to get into the stool.

Uses

This medicine is typically used to treat or prevent constipation, and to reduce pain or rectal damage caused by straining during bowel movements or hard stools.

Dosage

For children 3 to 6 years old, the usual recommended dose is 20 to 60 mg per day. For children 6 to 12 years old, the usual recommended dose is 40 to 120 mg per day. For adults and children older than 12 years, the usual recommended dose is 100 to 200 mg per day.

After taking this medicine by mouth, you should have a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • sweating;
  • weakness;
  • rectal irritation;
  • dizziness;
  • mild diarrhea;
  • bloating;
  • gas.

Rare side effects may include:

  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • rectal irritation or bleeding;
  • fluttering in the chest;
  • pounding heartbeats;
  • no bowel movement;
  • continued constipation;
  • stomach cramps;
  • severe diarrhea;
  • vomiting;
  • a rash around the rectum.

Bottom Line – Miralax vs Colace – Which Is The Better Stool Softener Medication?

Miralax (active ingredient – polyethylene glycol 3350) is a laxative solution which increases the amount of water in the intestinal tract to encourage bowel movements. It is an effective treatment for constipation in adults with a particular type of irritable bowel syndrome, according to a 2013 study which was issued in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Colace (active ingredient – docusate) is a stool softener that makes bowel movements softer and easier to pass. However, it is not a stimulant laxative, therefore, this medicine may not be very effective in treating existing constipation.

Important note – stool softeners are not habit forming unlike stimulant laxatives, that signal the colon to move. This means that you may not be able to defecate without the use of them if they have been used frequently and for a long period of time.

Home Remedies For Constipation

Constipation is defined as fewer than 3 stools every 7 days and severe constipation is less than 1 stool every 7 days.

Other symptoms include:

  • losing appetite;
  • feeling bloated and nauseous;
  • stomach cramps;
  • stomach ache.

Chronic constipation is the difficult passage of stools or infrequent bowel movement which persists for a few weeks or longer.

There are many causes of constipation and associations with it, including:

  • high levels of progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy;
  • diseases which affect the colon;
  • hormonal disorders;
  • abuse of laxatives;
  • low fiber diet and high in processed foods (like margarine, cakes, hamburgers, vegetable oils, french fries, burritos, potato chips, onion rings, and nachos) and animal products (like meats, dairy products, and eggs);
  • poor bowel habits;
  • side effects of some medications.study

Here are some easy remedies you should implement in your daily regime to prevent and treat constipation:

Exercise

Moving your body tends to keep your digestive system, especially your intestines, moving as well. It is recommended to exercise for 30 minutes a day to help stimulate your bowels and relieve stress, that can also be a factor in constipation.

Reduce Stress

High amounts of emotional stress disrupt neurotransmitter and hormone production, that has a direct influence on muscle tension, enzyme production, inflammation, and overall digestive functioning.

Effective methods to reduce your stress levels are – mindfulness meditation, Tai Chi, yoga, spending time in nature, and healthy sleeping habits (7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night).

Hydration

Maintaining proper hydration to relieve and prevent constipation is very important. Having sufficient fluids in your body helps your bowels move regularly and softens your stools. Water, vegetable and fruit juices, and herbal teas (avoid sodas, alcohol, energy drinks, and sports drinks like Powerade, Pedialyte, and Gatorade) hydrate you, allowing your digestive system to function normally.

Avoid Dairy Products

Being intolerant to lactose (the sugar in milk) may cause constipation in some people. If you think you may be lactose intolerant, then you could try to remove milk and dairy products from your regular diet, to see if it improves your symptoms.

Eat Prunes

Prunes are touted as nature’s leading remedy for constipation. They contain dietary fiber and sorbitol, a sugar alcohol which has a potent laxative effect.

Nutrition

Low dietary fiber intake is the main cause of constipation. Keep in mind that dietary fiber has even more benefits beyond improving bowel movements, including decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus or heart disease as well as helping you lose weight by increasing satiety levels.

Fiber-rich foods includes – chia seeds, flax seeds, lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans, navy beans, almonds, walnuts, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, turnips, tomatoes, apples, pineapples, papayas, mangoes, pears, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, bananas, durians, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27500338
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/dioctyl-sodium-sulfosuccinate
https://www.drugs.com/cdi/colace-docusate-capsules-and-tablets.html

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