Is Miralax Addictive?
Miralax is a laxative marketed as being a laxative that works with the body to increase the frequency of bowel movements but does not cause the kinds of side effects associated with other laxatives, such as cramps and gas.
It claims to offer "comfortable, easy and complete bowel movements" with a strong safety profile, and the company that makes it claims that it is 'not known to be habit forming.'
It is tough to classify overuse of Miralax—by people who may have eating disorders or psychological disorders and are striving to lose weight in an unhealthy fashion—as an addiction to Miralax. Even claiming a dependence on Miralax seems like a bit of a stretch. The problem is that Miralax, in and of itself, is not an addictive substance. If someone who used Miralax with great frequency suddenly did not have any, they would not be expected to go into the kinds of painful, physical withdrawal symptoms that usually accompany addiction.
Furthermore, the definition of addiction typically includes abuse of a substance to the point of it interfering with one's everyday life, and including risky behaviors such as drug seeking. Someone using Miralax with great frequency is not likely to develop these problems.
As a substance, Miralax does not create any physical cravings. Abusing it, however, may create some psychological cravings, and furthermore, abusing Miralax—meaning using it with such frequency that it goes beyond the manufacturer's recommendations for use—could lead to a situation in which a person finds it is extremely difficult to have a bowel movement without it. There is also the danger of creating an electrolyte imbalance in the body by abusing laxatives like Miralax.
So is Miralax addictive? The best answer is no, it is not an addictive substance. Can Miralax be abused like other drugs that are abused? The best answer is that to some degree yes, it can. But this is true for many, many different substances and behaviors. A person who feels they need the properties available in Miralax can purchase it over-the-counter, but they are advised to follow the precautions and the directions given by the manufacturer, for their own safety, and so that they do not cross the line and begin to abuse the substance. If they feel that they need to use it longer than is recommended, patients are strongly encouraged to bring the issue to their doctor or health care professional, and allow them to guide them to making the best decision.