Compare Dulcolax vs. Miralax

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Dulcolax
(bisacodyl)

Miralax
(polyethylene glycol)

Treats constipation. Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) works fast and the suppositories work even faster to relieve your constipation, as long as you're okay with it "cramping" your style a bit.Helps get things moving. Miralax (Polyethylene Glycol) provides effective relief of constipation without "cramping" your style.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.14Dulcolax
Reviews for Dulcolax (bisacodyl)
65%
of people (All ages) say Dulcolax (bisacodyl) is worth it
49%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
160 reviews
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Miralax (polyethylene glycol)
75%
+10% better vs. Dulcolax (bisacodyl)
54%
+5% better vs. Dulcolax (bisacodyl)
10%
+6% better vs. Dulcolax (bisacodyl)
226 reviews
Have you used Miralax (polyethylene glycol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DulcolaxMiralax

We haven’t found good data for Dulcolax side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dulcolax »

The Miralax FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Miralax side effects »
How it works
DulcolaxMiralax
Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) is a stimulant laxative that you can take by mouth or in a suppository. It causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.Miralax (Polyethylene Glycol) is an osmotic laxative. It uses osmosis to keep more water in your intestine, which softens your stool and makes it easier to pass.
Type of medication
DulcolaxMiralax
Over-the-counter
Over-the-counter
Available as
DulcolaxMiralax
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Liquid
Used for
DulcolaxMiralax
Risk factors for serious side effects
DulcolaxMiralax
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Age 60 or greater
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Dulcolax (bisacodyl) risks & warnings »
  • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
  • Age 60 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
Detailed Miralax (polyethylene glycol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
DulcolaxMiralax
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Pain
DulcolaxMiralax
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
No pain related info.
Weight
DulcolaxMiralax
No weight related info.
  • It causes little to no cramping, bloating, gas, or feelings like you "have to go right now" compared to some other medicines to treat constipation.
  • Doesn't cause as much bloating, cramping or feelings like you "have to go right now" as other medicines to treat constipation.
Upsides and benefits
DulcolaxMiralax
  • Most people said it was worth taking and it wasn't too much of a hassle.
  • Tablets give overnight relief of your constipation.
  • Dulcolax can also be used to treat constipation caused by spinal cord injury.
  • Suppositories give you quick relief without having to drink a large amount of liquid medicine.
  • Miralax is the most recommended laxative by pharmacists and doctors.
  • Most people felt it was worth the hassle.
  • It's gluten and sugar free.
  • It causes little to no cramping, bloating, gas, or feelings like you "have to go right now" compared to some other medicines to treat constipation.
  • Works differently than other over-the-counter laxatives so it's a great alternative if other medicines haven't worked.
Downsides and risks
DulcolaxMiralax
  • Dulcolax can cause cramping, stomach upset, feeling faint, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • You have to be comfortable with putting the medicine in your rectum.
  • Suppositories can cause slight rectal burning.
  • You have to dissolve Miralax in a beverage and drink it versus taking a pill.
  • It's not for children 16 years or younger.
  • Miralax doesn't work overnight. It can take up to 2-4 days to have a bowel movement.
  • It's not recommended that you take it for more than a week, so it you haven't had any success, you'll need to call your doctor for other laxative options.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DulcolaxMiralax
  • Swallow tablets whole (don't chew or crush) at bedtime, but not for more than one week.
  • Tablet works in 6 to 12 hours. Suppository works in 15 minutes to an hour, so make sure you're near a bathroom.
  • Don't take tablets within 1 hour of taking antacids, milk or dairy products.
  • Be sure to remove the wrapper from the suppository before inserting it into your rectum.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Dulcolax to anyone younger than 6 years.
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Check with your baby doctor before using or if you're breast-feeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Dissolve Miralax powder in 4 to 8 ounces of water, juice or other drink (cold or hot) once a day.
  • Works in about 1 to 3 days. Don't use for more than 1 week.
  • Miralax is available in four different size dose bottles. It also come in pre-measured single-dose packets to make dosing easier or if you travel.
  • Ask your doctor about giving it to anyone younger than 17 years.
  • Doesn't cause as much bloating, cramping or feelings like you "have to go right now" as other medicines to treat constipation.
  • Ask your doctor before you take Miralax if you have nausea or vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney disease, or sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Stop using Miralax and call your doctor if you have pain, cramping, swelling or bulging in your belly, diarrhea, rectal bleeding or find you need to use for more than 1 week.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Learn more
More about DulcolaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MiralaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Miralax (polyethylene glycol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it