Advice from Dr. B

Pediatrician's Perspective

One Size Does Not Fit All: Adult vs. Pediatric Constipation Remedies

Some doctors still recommend adult remedies for a child’s constipation. Maybe these doctors are more familiar with adult medicines and/or do not know more kid-friendly choices exist.

For example, one active ingredient of an adult over-the-counter constipation remedy is polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3350. It works by keeping water in the stool so stool is easier to pass. Constipation remedies with PEG 3350 usually come in a powder form that gets mixed with a liquid to drink. Sometimes it works within one day of taking it, but sometimes it can take up to two to four days to poop.

Adult laxatives, such as senna or bisacodyl, stimulate the colon to move poop through, may make constipation worse and harm a child’s colon , especially if they are overused. Also, adult remedies usually don’t taste good and can have side effects that can take a toll on little tummies .

A Better Choice for Children

Though harsh, adult laxatives often work well for adults, there are not enough studies  done with children to show that these are ideal or even safe medicines for relieving constipation in children.

Pedia-Lax® has two products kids can take by mouth that are specially formulated for children. They help to soften stool, work quickly and are gentler than adult remedies , making them a better choice for kids.

Pedia-Lax® Chewable Tablets provide quick relief in 30 minutes to 6 hours. They come in a tasty watermelon flavor that is easy for children to take. These tablets:

  • Formulated for kids ages 2-11
  • Offer quick, gentle relief in 30 minutes to 6 hours
  • Tasty watermelon-flavored chewable tablets

Pedia-Lax® Liquid Stool Softener is designed for less urgent cases when the child can benefit from gradual relief over a 12- to 72-hour period. It works gently on their system and comes in a fruit-punch-flavored liquid that mixes easily with their favorite juice or a glass of milk. The liquid:

  • Formulated for kids ages 2-11
  • Provides gentle, gradual relief in 12-72 hours
  • Contains docusate sodium, a gentle stool softener that helps prevent dry, hard stools
  • Comes in a kid-friendly and easy-to-dose formula

If your child’s doctor suggests an adult remedy for the plan of care for your child, ask your him about the benefits of using a product that is specially formulated for children. Always consult your pediatrician before making changes in your child’s medical care.

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