Difference Between Miralax and Colace


Main Difference

The main difference between Miralax and Colace is that the Miralax is the brand name of the Polyethylene Glycol and Colace is the brand name of the docusate sodium.

Miralax vs. Colace

Miralax is the trade name of Polyethylene Glycol; on the other hand, Colace is the trade name of docusate. Miralax is osmotic laxative while Colace is stool softener. Miralax cannot be given to patients of age one month to 16 years of age; on the other hand, Colace can be given to patients under two years of age. Miralax has the onset of action of 2-4 days after oral administration, on the other hand, Colace has the onset of action of 5 days after oral administration


Comparison Chart

Miralax is contained Polyethylene Glycol and is used to treat constipation.Colace contains Docusate and is used in constipation.
Drug Group
Osmotic laxativeStool softner
Active Therapeutic Agent
Polyethylene GlycolDocusate sodium
Onset of Action
2-4 daysCan take up five full days
Use in Children
Miralax is not used in patients who are under the age of 16.Colace can be used in patients who are under the age of 2.
Route of Administration
OralColace can be administered orally and rectally.

What is Miralax?

Miralax relieves constipation and contains polyethylene glycol, which is the basis of many laxatives. Polyethylene Glycol is hydrophilic in nature, so it holds water in the stool and softens it and leads to an increase in bowel movements. Miralax is classified as the osmotic laxative. Miralax does not cause any cramps, and it makes Miralax different from all other available laxatives which produce cramps. Miralax is the most prescribed drug for constipation. The most important feature of the Miralax is that it is free of sugar and gluten. Miralax can be dissolved in favorite beverages and is easy to take rather than engulfing a pill in case of constipation. Miralax is not given to the children and those who are of 16 years of age or younger than this. Miralax is not quick in its action; rather it takes 2-4 days to show its pharmacological actions. Miralax is not recommended for the use after seven days and in case that constipation is not relieved after seven days then the patient should discontinue taking Miralax and inform the physician or pharmacist. Miralax is prescribed in a single dose daily, but a physician can adjust its dose according to the severity of constipation or condition of the patient. Miralax intake can cause nausea or gas trouble as a side effect or in the rare case a minor abdominal cramp. Id patient is allergic to polyethylene Glycol then inform the physician.


What is Colace?

Colace contains docusate, and it softens the stools, but it does not increase the bowel movement as quickly as a laxative does. Colace is considered safer than laxatives. Colace is used in constipation because it softens the stools. Colace is a good choice to prescribe to patients who are suffering from constipation because of the hard stools. Colace can be safely used in patients who are under two years of age. Colace can be taken orally or rectally. When Colace is taken through the mouth then the bowel movement occurs in 1-3 days while when Colace is taken rectally, then it shows it therapeutic action in 20minutes. Colace is the over the counter drug, and one can purchase it without the prescription. Colace is used in occasional constipation. Colace is mostly prescribed in constipation after heart surgery to avoid the straining to have a bowel movement. The side effects of the Colace are rarely seen and include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Some patients are allergic to docusate, so its use in those patients is risky. Long term use of the Colace is not recommended because the long term use of Colace makes the drug ineffective. Colace is safe to use for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Colace is not prescribed in patients who have appendicitis. Colace interacts with dantron and increases the resorption of dantron.

Key Differences

  1. Miralax contains polyethylene Glycol, on the other hand, Colace contains docusate.
  2. Miralax is osmotic laxative while Colace is stool softener.
  3. Miralax is not prescribed to patients who are of age 16 or are under the age of 16 on the other hand, Colace can be prescribed to patients who are under the age of 2.
  4. Miralax starts to show its pharmacological action in 2-4 days after oral administration whereas Colace starts to show its pharmacological action in or after five days when taken orally.


The main conclusion of the above discussion is that both Miralax and Colace are used in constipation where Miralax is used in adults and Colace is the best choice for prescribing in children especially under two years of age.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White