Laxatives are drugs taken to treat difficulties to pass stool i.e., spells of constipation. If you witness hardening of stool or strained movement of bowels, an incomplete feeling / a sense of being blockage, experiencing less than three movements of bowel in a week etc., you may need to talk to a qualified medical practitioner. Laxatives are made of chemicals that can enhance motility of stool. As a result, you are likely to experience more frequent bowel movement. Miralax and Metamucil are commonly used laxatives. But, how do these two drugs compare against each other? It is essential to know more.

Problems faced while passing stool or constipation can be painful. Infrequent bowel-related movements are common causes for this clinical problem. No two persons may witness the same number of bowel-movements each week. Most individuals may witness it once each day. But, in some people, these movements (of bowel) tend to show up three (3) or four (4) times per week. It can lead to discharge of hardened stool or a few traces of blood may show up as you pass hardened stool.

What is Miralax?

This med is prescribed for treating episodes of constipation. This med has a few substances that enable the retention of water in your stool. As an outcome, stool tends to become soft. This action furthers the scope for frequent bowel movements. Miralax is categorized under a genre of drugs called osmotic-type laxative meds.

Miralax is administered through the oral route, and is mostly restricted to a single dose each day. This med is also available as a powder; this form is consumed by mixing it with 6 – 7 ounces of fruit juice or water. It is a safe practice to administer this drug as per your caregiver’s advice. Beware: people who took this med for a longer duration can become dependent on it. Hence, its use is always recommended over the short-term.

What is Metamucil?

This is another drug used for treating constipation. Like Miralax, this med too enhances the bulk of stools; this in turn leads to regular bowel movements. As an added action, its key chemicals are known to increase water-content of stools, thus making it easy to pass them.

This med is also taken orally. Those who take it as an over the counter med must study the instructions printed on the pack. You may also get a wafer-form of this drug. Such forms must be chewed well prior to swallowing.

How do these two (2) laxatives compare against each other?

Miralax is administered for treating occasional spells of constipation. The key item present in this med is polyethylene glycol; it is unsafe to use this med in beyond 6 consecutive days.  On the other hand, Metamucil has a derivative of a plant-based husk called psyllium. If you are diabetic, your caregiver may suggest the use of the sugarless alternative of this drug.

Metamucil can help you have regular movements of bowel, especially when you are witnessing patchy episodes of constipation. During such times of constipation, a consistent use of this drug is prescribed. But, both these laxatives are not for use over longer timelines – say, of more than a week.

Added pointers you need to know in this light

In general, it is a safe thing to meet a qualified physician when bowel-movements for not occur 3 days (or more). Letting this condition unattended can further worsen this condition. Untreated spells of constipation may worsen your condition, thus making it tough to pass stool. In some one-off instances, those with severe spells of this condition may have to strain a lot (like pressing) the lower half of their abdomen to pass stool.

Last but not least, your caregiver will tell you to consume foods high on fiber, take lots of fluids such as water or fresh fruit juices, pursue active lifestyle which includes daily exercises / workouts, etc.

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