The use and abuse of laxatives in the US has led to a shortage. Moreover, similar to other health conditions in the world, taking pills for everything is because of poor diets, ageing, and mental health strains.
The US is currently suffering a polyethylene glycol shortage, which is the main compound in laxative products. For example, MiraLAX and Glycolax.
Furthermore, some pharmaceutical companies have also started establishing new factories to overcome the sought-after compound.
Polyethylene glycol relieves constipation by drawing water into the stool, which makes it easier to defecate. However, based on a report, people are abusing this drug, which is allegedly a “budget ozempic” to lose weight. Although it is very risky, the trend has been driven by influencers who promote the benefits of this laxative for weight loss.
A clinical psychologist said in a statement,
Abusing laxatives can be fatal and very dangerous. Moreover, it may also be an indication of an eating disorder. Improper use of laxatives can cause loss of water, electrolytes, minerals, and indigestible fiber. All of which is the key to good health. Another contributing factor is ageing because constipation increases with age, and patients are advised to take laxatives. Consequently, this leads to a higher demand for polyethylene glycol.
Nevertheless, the demand is also increasing among young adults. This could be due to lifestyle changes. For example, higher content of processed food, minimal physical activity, and declining mental health.
George Pavlou, the president of the Gastroenterology Associates of New Jerset said,