This article is intended to support parents of children who have been prescribed Movicol Paediatric. This medicine is only available with a prescription, so your child would need a consultation with their doctor. For chronic constipation a doctor visit is advised in any case as identifying the cause of their issue is most important. See my full article on constipation in children here.
Movicol is a laxative for the treatment of chronic constipation in children aged 1 to 11 years and for the treatment of very bad constipation (called faecal impaction) in children aged 5 to 11 years. Movicol Paediatric helps your child to have a comfortable bowel movement even if they have been constipated for a long time. It works by drawing fluid into the bowel to soften stools and increase volume which triggers a laxative effect.
How to give Movicol Paediatric
- This medicine can be given at any time, with or without food.
- The contents of the sachet should be poured into a glass or cup and 62.5mls of water added. Stir the solution well until all the powder has dissolved. If your child does not like the taste (movicol paediatric contains no colours, flavours, or sweeteners) you can add a little fruit squash to the drink. If your child is taking Movicol Paediatric Plain for faecal impaction it may be easier to dissolve 12 sachets in 750ml of water
- If your child does not want to drink the sachet as soon as you have made it up, you can cover it and place it up in the fridge where it will last for 24 hours.
- It is a good idea to space out other medication your child is taking so that they do not take it within an hour of taking their Movicol to prevent any chance that other medication may not be properly absorbed.
- It is important to know that the fluid used to make a dose of Movicol Paediatric does not replace regular fluid intake and so your child should be encouraged to keep drinking normal fluids in addition.
Whilst you would hope your child will experience no side effects like most it is still worth knowing what to expect as the most common ones.
Very common side effects (more than 1 person in 10)
- stomach pains
- stomach rumbles
Common side effects (more than 1 in 100 but less than 1 in 10 people):
- Vomiting (being sick)
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Anal discomfort (uncomfortable sensation around the bottom).
There are a couple of other listed side effects such as swollen stomach, wind or allergic reaction but these are much less common. I would advise to read the whole patient information leaflet when you first receive the medication – it is available by clicking here.
If your child suffers from diarrhoea while taking Movicol Paediatric, it is important to keep an eye out for signs of dehydration and to stop the Movicol if that occurs. You can read about dehydration signs and symptoms in my article here.
Children who suffer from impaired cardiovascular function or renal function are not recommended to take Movicol Paediatric.
If your child is over 8 years of age, or has been advised by a doctor, there is a product called Dulcosoft which is available without presciption. It contains the same ingredient as Movicol Paediatric. The dose for children over 8 years of age is 20-40mls, for children under 8yrs a doctor should be consulted first and then the appropriate dose is available on the product information leaflet.
This article was written and up to date on 12/4/21