Magnesium citrate benefits, side effects and dosage


Magnesium citrate is an osmotic laxative that comes in liquid form. It is a combination of the element magnesium and citric acid . Magnesium citrate can be purchased without a prescription at a pharmacy.

It can be used to treat occasional constipation and acid indigestion . It can also be used to remove stool from the colon before a test, such as a colonoscopy or digestive surgery.

Get Medical Information / Ellen Lindner

Brands of magnesium citrate that may be recommended for constipation or bowel prep include:

  • Magnesia citrate
  • Citroma
  • LiquiPrep

This medicine can increase the amount of magnesium in the body. But there are other forms of magnesium available that have the same effect and do not act as laxatives .

This article will discuss magnesium citrate, how to use it, its benefits, and the side effects it can have.

Health benefits

Constipation is when you don't have a regular bowel movement. This is a common problem faced by many adults from time to time. Some people find that constipation can occur frequently and last for a long time.

Constipation can be uncomfortable. And in some cases, this can lead to problems like hemorrhoids or fissures in the anus due to straining when passing through hard stools. Magnesium citrate is one of the many foods available to treat constipation.

Magnesium citrate draws more water into the intestines. This process is called osmosis. When there is more water in the intestines, the stool becomes softer or even watery. Then it will be easier to pass.

Magnesium citrate is available over the counter at many brand name pharmacies and in generic form. But it must be used under medical prescription.

In most cases, it is safe to take magnesium citrate from time to time to treat constipation. However, long-term use of magnesium citrate to treat constipation can lead to other health problems. Magnesium citrate is recommended for constipation only after consulting a doctor.

Possible side effects.

Some of the negative effects that people experience from taking magnesium citrate include:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Seizures

These symptoms are usually mild. But if severe symptoms develop or bowel movements don't occur within three hours of taking magnesium citrate, it's important to see your doctor.

More serious side effects are rare, but can include:

Most people do not experience allergic reactions when taking magnesium citrate.

It is important that you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking, especially:

  • Digoxin (brand names: Cardoxin, Digitek, Lanoxicaps, and Lanoxin)
  • Sodium polystyrene sulfonate (trademarks: Kalexate, Kayexalate, Kionex, and SPS)

You should also tell your doctor if you are taking antibiotics such as vibramycin (doxycycline), acromycin V, or sumycin (tetracycline), minocin (minocycline), levakin (levofloxacin), or cypro (ciprofloxacin). This is because magnesium citrate can reduce the effectiveness of these medications.

Usually taking these drugs and magnesium citrate two to three hours apart can help prevent this problem. But to be safe, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Overuse of laxatives can also have harmful effects. In particular, overuse of osmotic laxatives such as magnesium citrate can lead to excessive fluid loss. This can lead to electrolyte imbalances , especially in people with other medical conditions, such as kidney disease .

People who should avoid magnesium citrate include those who have:

Those who are dehydrated or on a low magnesium diet should also avoid magnesium citrate.

The use of magnesium citrate during pregnancy or breastfeeding seems safe. But check with your doctor before taking it.

If you accidentally take more magnesium citrate than recommended, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Dosage and preparation

Instructions and dosage for using magnesium citrate will be available on the vial. The most common dose for constipation in adults is 10 ounces. For children 6 to 12 years old, the dose can be 5 ounces. Children under 6 years of age, seek help from a pediatrician for constipation.

After taking magnesium citrate, it is important to drink 8 ounces of water. This is because it replaces fluid lost from the body as more water enters the intestines.

Some people find that magnesium citrate is easier to drink due to its taste when chilled in the refrigerator. This product is a laxative and may cause diarrhea . It is important to drink plenty of fluids after a meal to prevent dehydration.

When magnesium citrate is used to cleanse the colon before a procedure such as a colonoscopy, your doctor's office will give you instructions on when to start taking it. It is important to use the product as directed by your doctor. If stool is not cleared from the colon, your doctor may need to perform a test or procedure later. Then you have to start the process over.

If you have any questions about the use of magnesium citrate, ask your doctor. The pharmacist can also answer general questions about this medicine. Pharmacists will advise you on how to take it. They will also tell you if there may be potential side effects or interactions with your other medications or supplements.


Magnesium citrate is a laxative that you can buy without a prescription. It is used to treat constipation and acid indigestion. Doctors will also ask you to take it before your colonoscopy.

Magnesium citrate is mild when used in recommended amounts. The dosage is usually 10 ounces for adults and 5 ounces for children 6 to 12 years old, but the instructions will be on the medicine package. Children under the age of 6 should not take magnesium citrate without the help of a pediatrician.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, as magnesium citrate can reduce their effectiveness. Some people should avoid taking magnesium citrate if they have certain medical conditions. Talk to your doctor before deciding on an admission.

Get the word of drug information

Constipation is common and is usually not a reason to see a doctor, unless it is long-lasting or causes great discomfort or pain. For many people, the first wish to get rid of constipation is to turn to an over-the-counter laxative. And in most cases, laxatives can be used safely from time to time.

Constipation, which is more common, should be discussed with your doctor to discuss the most appropriate way to relieve it. It will also help your doctor determine if there is an underlying cause that needs treatment.

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