• The name of this medicine is Movicol Paediatric Plain 6.9g sachet, powder for oral solution. It is a laxative for the treatment of chronic constipation in children aged 2 to 11 years and for the treatment of very bad constipation (called faecal impaction) in children aged 5 to 11 years.
  • Movicol Paediatric Plain helps your child to have a comfortable bowel movement even if they have been constipated for a long time.

What is it used for?

  • Chronic constipation in children aged 2 to 11 years.
  • Build up of compressed and hardened stools (faeces) in the rectum as a result of chronic constipation (faecal impaction) in children aged five years and over.
  • This medicine is not licensed for treating faecal impaction in children below five years of age, or for treating chronic constipation in children below two years of age. However, your doctor may prescribe this medicine for younger children if they feel it is necessary for treating the child's constipation. If you are concerned, your doctor should be happy to give you more information. It is recommended that children aged 12 years and older use other forms of Movicol.

How does it work?

  • Movicol paediatric sachets contain macrogol (polyethylene glycol '3350'), which is a type of medicine known as an osmotic laxative.
Each sachet also contains sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride and potassium chloride. The contents of the sachets are mixed with water to make a drink.
  • Macrogol is an inert substance that passes through the gut without being absorbed into the body. It relieves constipation because it causes the water it is taken with to be retained in the bowel instead of being absorbed into the body. This increases the water content and volume of the stools in the bowel, making them softer and easier to pass.
  • The sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride and potassium chloride (electrolytes) are included in this medicine to help ensure that the laxative works without causing the body to gain or lose significant amounts of sodium, potassium or water.

    This medicine is used to help children who have been constipated for a long time to have a comfortable bowel movement. It is also used to relieve and help prevent more severe constipation known as faecal impaction.

    How do I give it?

    • This medicine should only be given as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. The number of sachets to give depends on the condition being treated and the age of the child.
    • The contents of each sachet should be dissolved in 62.5ml of water (about a quarter of a glass). If needed you can add a flavour such as orange squash to the solution. For convenience, the correct number of sachets needed for each day can be made up in advance and kept covered in the fridge (2-8ºC) for up to 24 hours. Throw away any solution not used within a 24 hour period.


    • Consult your doctor if your child begins to feel weak, fatigued, breathless, very thirsty with a headache, or gets swollen ankles while taking this medicine. These symptoms may indicate that the child's fluid and electrolyte levels are disturbed and your doctor may need to take a blood test to check for this.

    Not to be used in

    • Children with a hole in the gut (intestinal perforation).
    • Children with a blockage in the gut (intestinal obstruction) caused by a structural or functional disorder of the gut wall.
    • Inflammation of the bowel and back passage (ulcerative colitis).
    • Crohn's disease.
    • Children with a sudden expansion of the large intestine, seen in advanced ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease (toxic megacolon).
    • This medicine is not recommended for children with heart or kidney problems.
    • This medicine should not be used if your child is allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if your child has previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel your child has experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

    Use with caution in

    When used in high doses to treat faecal impaction this medicine should be given with caution to children with any of the conditions below.

    • Impaired gag reflex.
    • Reflux oesophagitis.
    • Decreased levels of consciousness.

    Label warnings

    • Dissolve or mix this medication with water before giving.

    Side effects

    Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all children using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

    Very common

    • Abdominal pain.
    • Abdominal rumbling and gurgling sounds due to movement in the intestines.


    • Diarrhoea.
    • Feeling sick.
    • Vomiting.
    • Anal discomfort.


    • Swelling or bloating of the abdomen.
    • Wind (flatulence).
    • Unknown frequency
    • Indigestion.
    • Headache.

    Disturbances in the levels of electrolytes (particularly potassium) in the blood. 
    The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

    How can this medicine affect other medicines?

    • It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines your child is already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any new medicines while using this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
    • Large volumes of fluid can flush tablets and capsules through the gut without giving them a chance to be absorbed into the body. For this reason, if you are giving your child a large volume of this medicine in one go (such as when treating faecal impaction), you should avoid giving other tablets or capsules in the hour before and after the dose. Ask your pharmacist for further advice.










    Health Reference: Constipation in Children