All About Magnesium Citrate Side Effects

Magnesium citrate is a chemical agent which is used to clean up the intestine, making it free of the stool. This is generally used in combination with other agents before any kind of operative procedure such as a colonoscopy.

Magnesium citrate is also used in the treatment of constipation in severe cases. It is not the drug of choice in treating constipation, other agent like stool softeners are used first. It generally works by increasing the fluid content in the small intestine which results in a bowel movement within a duration of 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Before using magnesium citrate, the doctor should be consulted as he would inform the patient about by when the product will start acting, the side effects etc. He will also inform the patient about the precautions to be taken before the use of this product.


Side effects:

-mild cramps


-slight nausea may be felt

-abdominal pain

-bloating sensation




-electrolyte loss


If magnesium citrate is used in excess it will cause diarrhea, weakness, extreme abdominal pain. The doctor should be immediately consulted if any of these symptoms are noticed by the patient.

Usually magnesium citrate does not show any major side effects unless the product is used for a longer duration of time or if it is used in an excess quantity.

The doctor should be immediately consulted if there are any kinds of major side effects like drastic fall in the urinary output, or sudden extreme weakness, lowered heart rate, low blood pressure, any kind of allergic reaction such as swelling or itching sensation etc.

Magnesium citrate is usually taken in the liquid form. They act by a process known as osmosis. Magnesium citrate after reaching the intestine attracts water and thereby helps in empting the bowel. This substance is seen to work best when taken on an empty stomach. To prevent dehydration, the patient should drink plenty of water after the oral administration of this agent.

The maximum tolerable dose of magnesium citrate is about 350 mgs per day.

Before the use of magnesium citrate, the doctor should be aware of the patient’s medical history.

The doctor should be aware of the following things before prescribing magnesium citrate to the patient:

-If the patient is allergic to any medication, dyes, food etc.

-If any kind of intestinal disease exists, rectal bleeding etc.

-If the patient has a history of unexplained abdominal or stomach pain.

-Other conditions like heart diseases or blood pressure problems.

-Kidney diseases.

-If the patient is pregnant. Magnesium citrate is prescribed in pregnancy when it is absolutely needed as this tends to retain in the body for a longer time.

-Also if the patient is taking any kind of over the counter medication. This may include vitamins, any kinds of herbs etc.

Magnesium citrate may interact with medications like warfarin (blood thinning agent), heart medications such as digoxin. It also interacts with phenothiazines. When such medications are been taken by the patient, magnesium citrate is contraindicated.

Since magnesium citrate is taken in the liquid form, it can be mixed with any kind of fruit juice or water. Magnesium citrate is usually refrigerated before consumption. To prevent dehydration after the agent starts working, plenty of water should be consumed.

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  1. Magnesium Citrate

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