Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal

Miralax Alternatives

(polyethylene glycol)

Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal
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Compare Miralax (polyethylene glycol) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Miralax (polyethylene glycol) or used for similar purposes.

Miralax
(polyethylene glycol)

Dulcolax
(bisacodyl)

Colace
(docusate)

Fibercon
(calcium polycarbophil)

Citrate Of Magnesia
(magnesium citrate)

Senna-S
(docusate / senna)

Metamucil
(psyllium)

Senokot
(senna)

Helps get things moving. Miralax (Polyethylene Glycol) provides effective relief of constipation without "cramping" your style.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.Softens things up. Colace (Docusate) takes longer to work that some alternatives, but it's a more comfortable way to relieve constipation.Helps get things moving. Fibercon (Calcium Polycarbophil) is a natural fiber laxative that's safe enough to take during pregnancy. Just make sure you take it with plenty of liquid.Treats constipation. Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) works well if you need to really get things moving, but it's not a good medicine to manage chronic constipation.Helps get things moving and softens things up. Senna and docusate join forces to create Senna-S (Docusate / Senna), a vegetable-based laxative that gently relieves constipation.Helps get things moving. The natural psyllium fiber in Metamucil (Psyllium) does more than relieve constipation. It lowers cholesterol, keeps blood sugar levels healthy, and makes you feel less hungry between meals.Relieves constipation. Senokot (senna) is gentle and effective, but it may be weaker than other laxatives.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.45Miralax
Reviews for Miralax
75%
of people (All ages) say Miralax is worth it
54%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle
226 reviews
Have you used Miralax (polyethylene glycol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Dulcolax
65%
+10% better vs. Miralax
49%
+5% better vs. Miralax
16%
+6% better vs. Miralax
160 reviews
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Colace
66%
+9% better vs. Miralax
49%
+5% better vs. Miralax
13%
+3% better vs. Miralax
125 reviews
Have you used Colace (docusate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Fibercon
45%
+30% better vs. Miralax
28%
+26% better vs. Miralax
21%
+11% better vs. Miralax
Have you used Fibercon (calcium polycarbophil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Citrate Of Magnesia (magnesium citrate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Senna-S
39%
+36% better vs. Miralax
29%
+25% better vs. Miralax
22%
+12% better vs. Miralax
Have you used Senna-S (docusate / senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Metamucil
71%
+4% better vs. Miralax
45%
+9% better vs. Miralax
10%
Same vs. Miralax
454 reviews
Have you used Metamucil (psyllium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Senna
58%
+17% better vs. Miralax
35%
+19% better vs. Miralax
10%
Same vs. Miralax
Have you used Senokot (senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna

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

More about Miralax side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Dulcolax »

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

FDA side effect reports for Colace »

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

FDA side effect reports for Fibercon »

We haven’t found good data for Magnesium Citrate side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Magnesium Citrate »

We haven’t found good data for Senna-S side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Senna-S »

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

FDA side effect reports for Metamucil »

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

More about Senna side effects »
How it works
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
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.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.Colace (Docusate) is a stool softener. It allows both fats and water into stool, which softens it and makes it easier to pass.Fibercon (Calcium Polycarbophil) is a fiber-based laxative. It adds bulk and moisture to your intestine, which softens stool and makes it easier to pass.Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) is an osmotic and stimulant laxative. It uses osmosis to keep more water in your intestine, which softens your stool and makes it easier to pass. It also causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through.Senna-S (Docusate / Senna) is a combination medicine. Docusate is a stool softener, and Senna is a stimulant laxative. These two ingredients work together to make stools easier to pass.Metamucil (Psyllium) is a fiber-based laxative. It adds bulk and moisture to your intestine, which softens stool and makes it easier to pass.Senokot (senna) is a laxative. It causes contractions in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.
Type of medication
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
Over-the-counterOver-the-counterOver-the-counterOver-the-counterPrescription or OTCOver-the-counterOver-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
Risk factors for serious side effects
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
  • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
  • Age 60 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Malignancy
Detailed Miralax (polyethylene glycol) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Age 60 or greater
Detailed Dulcolax (bisacodyl) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)
  • Malignancy
Detailed Colace (docusate) risks & warnings »
  • Taking with calcium supplements
  • Taking with oral bisphosphonates
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
Detailed Fibercon (calcium polycarbophil) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
Detailed Citrate Of Magnesia (magnesium citrate) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
Detailed Senna-S (docusate / senna) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Sensitivity to psyllium
Detailed Metamucil (psyllium) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Cancer
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
Detailed Senokot (senna) 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.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Food
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Magnesium can build up in your blood if you have kidney problems. High magnesium levels can be dangerous and affect your heart, cause weakness and lower your calcium levels. Don't take Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have problems with your kidneys or are taking other magnesium-containing medicines. or supplements..
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
No pain related info.
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Colace if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • If you take Fibercon then have chest pain, vomiting, trouble breathing or swallowing, get medical help immediately.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Fibercon if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Magnesium Citrate if you have kidney disease, are on a limited magnesium or sodium diet, have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Docusate/Senna if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
No pain related info.No pain related info.
Weight
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
  • Doesn't cause as much bloating, cramping or feelings like you "have to go right now" as other medicines to treat constipation.
  • 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.
No weight related info.No weight related info.
  • Less gas and bloating compared to psyllium laxative products.
No weight related info.No weight related info.No weight related info.No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Colace is a gentle, non-irritating, non-stimulant constipation reliever.
  • It doesn't cause cramping or the uncomfortable feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Most people feel Colace is worth the hassle.
  • It's safe to use short-term during pregnancy and if you're breast-feeding, but you should still check with your baby doctor first.
  • Colace is used to prevent straining in people who recently had a heart attack.
  • It's a good choice after surgery, giving birth, or when you have hemorrhoids.
  • Some people felt Fibercon was a hassle but still worth it.
  • It's safe to use short-term during pregnancy and breast-feeding as long as you take it with plenty of liquid, but you should still check with your baby doctor first.
  • Less gas and bloating compared to psyllium laxative products.
  • Really strong laxative that gets things moving fast.
  • Can also be used to prep your bowel before you go for surgery or colonoscopy. Your doctor will give you specific instructions if you use it this way.
  • The combination of a laxative and stool softener might work better for people with constipation caused by medicines.
  • The laxative in Docusate/Senna was used over 3,500 years ago, so it's been around for a while.
  • Docusate/Senna is clinically proven to relieve constipation from a variety of causes.
  • One of the few laxative/stool-softener combinations that can be given to children 2 and older.
  • It may not work for everyone, but people felt it was worth the hassle.
  • Psyllium is the most recommended brand of natural fiber laxative
  • Some people feel that taking Psyllium is a hassle, but most think it's worth it.
  • It has multiple health benefits, good to control your hunger between meals, improves your blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Studies show it works better than a stool softener for constipation.
  • Senokot (senna) is generally well-tolerated.
  • Can be used if you have hemorrhoids.
  • Can be used in children as young as 2 years old.
Downsides and risks
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • May take up to 12 to 72 hours to take effect.
  • People who are older have medical conditions and take a lot of medicines may need more than 200 mg a day to get results.
  • It may be weaker than alternatives since it isn't a laxative. Studies show that stool softeners like Colace may be less effective than psyllium when it comes to treating constipation.
  • You may have to take Fibercon daily for 1-3 days to see full effects.
  • If you don't take it with enough liquid, it could swell and block your throat and cause choking.
  • Not the best choice for people who have swallowing problems or aren't able to drink lots of liquids.
  • Can cause heartburn, gas, and belly cramps.
  • It doesn't work for everyone and some people feel it's a hassle.
  • Some brands are of Magnesium Citrate are tinted red and can change the color of your stool.
  • Can cause dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Magnesium Citrate contains magnesium which prevents certain medicines from working properly. Make sure you take your dose of Magnesium Citrate at least 2 hours before or after other medicines.
  • You can't take it for more than a week or so.
  • Most people felt that it's not the most effective laxative out there, but they could deal with the hassle and it worked pretty well.
  • Docusate/Senna can cause cramping or the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • You may have to take Psyllium daily for 1-3 days to see full effects.
  • If you don't take it with enough liquid, it could swell, block your throat and cause choking.
  • Not the best choice for people who have swallowing problems or aren't able to drink lots of liquids.
  • Psyllium contains psyllium. Don't take if you have an allergy to psyllium from breathing it in or swallowing it.
  • Can cause gas and mild belly cramps.
  • Can cause salt imbalances in the blood, especially if you are dehydrated or if you are on water pills.
  • Takes longer to work compared to other medicines for constipation.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
MiralaxDulcolaxColaceFiberconMagnesium CitrateSenna-SMetamucilSenna
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It's best to take daily doses at bedtime or you can take it twice a day, but not for more than one week. Works in about 12-72 hours.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Colace to anyone younger than 2 years.
  • Don't use if you're taking mineral oil for constipation. Ask your doctor first.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Colace 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 pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • It's important to take each dose with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other liquid. Works in about 12-72 hours.
  • Don't take more than 8 caplets in a 24 hour period without asking your doctor first and not for more than one week.
  • Don't take Fibercon within 2 hours before or after taking other medicines. It may interact and affect how they work.
  • If you take Fibercon then have chest pain, vomiting, trouble breathing or swallowing, get medical help immediately.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Fibercon if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Fibercon to anyone younger than 12 years.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Magnesium Citrate starts working in 30 minutes to 6 hours.
  • Works fast, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • The dose is different for adults and children so check the label and ask your doctor about giving to anyone younger than 6 years.
  • It tastes better if you chill the bottle before you take it. Make sure you drink 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other liquid after each dose.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Magnesium Citrate if you have kidney disease, are on a limited magnesium or sodium diet, have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Stop taking Magnesium Citrate and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly, rectal bleeding, or haven't had a bowel movement after taking.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • For short-term use. Don't use it for more than one week.
  • Docusate/Senna is a combination of a laxative and stool softener. Together they work to relieve constipation better than each medicine alone.
  • Best to take at bedtime or as your doctor has prescribed, but not for more than one week. It works in about 6-12 hours.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Docusate/Senna to anyone younger than 2 years.
  • Don't use if you're taking mineral oil for constipation. Ask your doctor first.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Docusate/Senna 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 pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Psyllium works in about 12-72 hours for constipation.
  • It's important to take each dose with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other liquid (not hot liquids).
  • Mix powder well and drink right away up to 3 times a day (build up to this slowly), but not for more than one week.
  • Don't take Psyllium within 2 hours before or after taking other medicines. It may interact and affect how they work.
  • If you take Psyllium then have chest pain, vomiting, trouble breathing or swallowing, get medical help immediately.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Psyllium if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Psyllium to anyone younger than 12 years.
  • Stop taking Psyllium and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly, rectal bleeding or have not had a bowel movement after taking.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • It's best to take Senokot (senna) at bedtime. You can expect to have a bowel movement the following morning.
  • You may need a combination of different constipation medicines if Senokot (senna) alone does not help.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables with lots of fiber can help constipation.
  • Remaining active and staying hydrated are good ways to prevent constipation.
  • Certain medications can increase your risk of constipation. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about changing your medicines to lower your risk.
Learn more
More about MiralaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Miralax (polyethylene glycol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about DulcolaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ColaceSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Colace (docusate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about FiberconSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Fibercon (calcium polycarbophil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Magnesium CitrateSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Citrate Of Magnesia (magnesium citrate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Senna-SSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Senna-S (docusate / senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MetamucilSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Metamucil (psyllium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SennaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Senokot (senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it