We all have to rely on supplements and medication to make our health better. While going the natural way of following a good diet and exercise schedule is the best way to remain healthy, sometimes, having medication is the right way to get your body back to normal. Being healthy is important, not only for us, but also for all the people we love. Having a sick family member can often be detrimental to the entire family’s health.
Let us talk about two medications – MiraLax (over the counter drug) and Vyvanse (prescription medication).
What Is MiraLax?
We all have suffered from issues of the bowel movement. One of the drugs which often prescribed is MiraLax. MiraLax, which is basically polyethylene glycol 3350, is a laxative solution which increases the amount of water in the intestine and helps to stimulate bowel movements. It is an osmotic-type laxative and is available over the counter. MiraLax is usually used to treat occasional constipation.
Is MiraLax safe for children?
There has been a lot of debate on whether MiraLax is safe for children at all. In a meta-analysis carried out in the US in 2014, it was evident that patients using PEG-based laxatives like MiraLax had better bowel movements that those not using them. Also, PEG-based laxatives like MiraLax was considered safe for children, especially in case of chronic constipation. A child’s body’s acceptance to a PEG-based laxative was higher than a non-PEG based laxative.
In short, MiraLax in prescribed doses is safe for children, but one needs to check for side effects, before giving it to children. This side effects of MiraLax should be considered even for adults.
Side Effects Of MiraLax
MiraLax is usually taken once a day and is considered to be a relatively safe drug, as long as it is not overdosed. But there are some side effects of MiraLax which we should be aware of.
One of the first things, before you take MiraLax is to confirm that you are not allergic to polyethylene glycol. Also, people who have a bowel obstruction or intestinal blockage should not be using this medicine. People with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, should not use this laxative, either.
If you take MiraLax, here are some side effects which you can encounter.
- Nausea or formation of gas is one of the side effects of taking MiraLax
- Some patients experience abdominal cramping
- Increased sweating may occur
- Diarrhea and perianal inflammation as a consequence of diarrhea is a possibility
- There may be soreness in the anal area
- Dryness of the mouth
While there areminor symptoms which may disappear in a couple of days, if there are severe side effects like rash, dizziness which seems severe, breathing issues or itching or swelling in the face, tongue or throat, one should seek immediate medical attention.
What is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is the commercial name for lisdexamfetamine which is a central nervous system stimulant. It is usually prescribed as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and in children above 6 years of age. While the medicine is not a treatment for weight loss or obesity, some doctors also prescribe it for moderate or severe binge eating disorder in adults.
Is Vyvanse Safe for Children?
In studies conducted on children between the ages of 6 to 17 years, Vyvanse is shown to reduce the symptoms of hyperactivity. For children between 6 to 12 years, Vyvanse provided control over ADHD symptoms throughout the day, while in teenagers there was improvement in attention.
Vyvanse is safe for children as long as the dosage is taken as per the doctor’s prescriptions. It is important to remember that over dosage can be a major issue, as Vyvanse is a habit forming drug. Also long term use of Vyvanse can slow a child’s growth.
Side Effects of Vyvanse
Before taking Vyvanse, it is important to check that you are not allergic to lisdexamfetamine. Please inform the doctor if there is any heart problems, high blood pressure or history of heart attack in your family. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should inform the doctor. Vyvanse is known to cause premature birth and low birth weight in case it is taken by pregnant women. The drug can pass through the breastmilk and hence should be avoided by breastfeeding mothers.
Some side effects of Vyvanse include:
- Weight loss
- Dryness of the mouth
- Insomnia or sleep issues
- Feeling of irritation
- Stomach pain
- Upper stomach pain which is not very severe
These are minor side effects and may disappear with time.
However, in case you have the following symptoms after taking Vyvanse, seek medical attention immediately:
- Chest pain
- Uneven heart beat
- Muscular pain which cannot be explained
- Numbness or color change in the digits (fingers or toes)
- Swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue
- Blurred vision
- Unusual wounds in the fingers and toes
- Extreme tiredness
One of the most important precautions to be considered before taking Vyvanse is that if the patient has used a MAO inhibitor like methylene blue injection or phenelzine in the past 14 days, one should avoid the medication completely.
Every drug has its side effects, whether it is a prescription drug or an over the counter one. But it is important to recognize the side effects and know whether it is a severe side effect or something that will pass with time. Another important thing to keep in mind is that most drugs are needed only for a short amount of time before your body heals itself. Over dosage has its harmful effects and one must avoid taking drugs for too long.
The best way to a healthy body is to have a healthy diet and exercise on a regular basis. A balanced diet consisting of the right amount of carbohydrates, fibers, proteins, vitamins and minerals is often the best way to keep one healthy.