How to use macrogol laxatives

(Movicol, CosmoCol and Laxido are all names of macrogols)

How to prepare and use macrogol laxatives can be a stumbling block for some parents, so we've created this factsheet to explain how to mix them correctly.

Macrogol laxatives work by ‘binding with’ water and delivering it to the large bowel. It is therefore essential to mix it with the correct amount of water or it will not work!

Paediatric sachets should be mixed with at least 63mls water PER SACHET

Adult sachets should be mixed with at least 125mls water PER SACHET

Empty the sachet of powder into a cup/glass/bottle. First add the right amount of cold water and stir until the powder has dissolved and the water is clear. The resultant liquid can be mixed with anything your child likes, to encourage them to drink it, e.g. squash, juice, hot chocolate, milk. Do not mix the powder straight into the milk/juice/flavoured drink – it needs to ‘bind’ with the water first.


  • Formula fed babies. Mix the macrogol with 63mls previously boiled water per sachet. Prepare formula according to the manufacturer’s instructions using water which is at least 70°c. Add sufficient formula to macrogol water to flavour it and mix well. DO NOT add macrogol water to the baby’s whole feed in case they don’t finish it.
  • If your child does not like the taste, try mixing the macrogol earlier and chill it in the fridge – it will last 6 hours after mixing (Laxido) or 24 hours (CosmoCol and Movicol).
  • Try a flavoured macrogol, e.g. Movicol Chocolate, Orange/lemon/lime CosmoCol.
  • Try making macrogol jelly or ice lollies, mixing the macrogol water with fruit juice.
  • Buy a new cup just for macrogols, and/or a fun straw to drink through.
  • Experiment with adding the macrogol water to milk, and pouring it on the child’s breakfast cereal.
  • The macrogol water can be added to anything, so try a variety of drinks and foods to work out what suits your child.


As the macrogol water is not absorbed, it can’t be included in the child’s daily fluid requirement. So, if your child is drinking six cups a day, but that includes their macrogol, you’ll need to give them extra drinks or they will not be properly hydrated.

All children need a minimum of 6 – 8 cups of drink a day to stay healthy. For children with bladder or bowel problems, 8 drinks a day is ideal.

A 7 year old child on 4 sachets of macrogol a day will need:

Regular drinks: 8 x 200mls = 1600mls

PLUS: 4 x 63mls = 252mls

TOTAL = at least 1850mls

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