Category: 

What Is Magnesium Hydroxide?

Stomach discomfort may be a side effect of magnesium hydroxide.
Magnesium hydroxide may be used to relieve constipation.
Article Details
  • Written By: Deneatra Harmon
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Dolphins have the most teeth of any mammal, sometimes over 260, yet they almost never chew their food.  more...

October 20 ,  1973 :  The "Saturday Night Massacre"  more...

Magnesium hydroxide is a mineral supplement that works as an antacid as well as a laxative. It commonly comes in liquid or tablet form. Dosages vary depending on age, and the directions must be strictly followed to avoid magnesium overdose. Like other supplements or medications, magnesium hydroxide may cause side effects, such as stomach discomfort, vomiting and rectal bleeding, in some people. Certain medications may also interfere with the magnesium hydroxide benefits, such as antibiotics and anti-seizure medications.

This mineral supplement, which is intended only for short-term use, treats problems such as an upset stomach, heartburn, and acid indigestion. Magnesium hydroxide as an antacid is best identified as milk of magnesia. As a laxative, magnesium hydroxide relieves constipation. Overall, the supplement neutralizes stomach acid and increases the water content in the intestines, which helps to soften stool.

As a medication, magnesium hydroxide must be taken by mouth. Liquid forms of the mineral supplement, such as milk of magnesia, must be shaken first, measured with a spoon, and then taken as directed according to the label or a doctor. Other options for magnesium hydroxide include pills or chewable tablets that must also be taken accordingly with a full glass of water. Depending on the person's condition, it may take up to six hours for the mineral to relieve constipation; in general, the medicine should not be taken for longer than one week. As an antacid, milk of magnesia should resolve stomach problems in two weeks or less.

Ad

While a magnesium supplement offers the benefits of constipation and acid relief, some people may experience side effects. Some of these include an upset stomach or stomach cramps. Medical attention should be sought immediately if these symptoms occur, plus any other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or rectal bleeding. Allergic reactions such as hives or a skin rash may also result as adverse effects from the mineral supplement.

Additionally, a person must take precautions and notify his doctor of other conditions, medications or supplements that may interfere with magnesium, such as vitamin D. Prescriptions that may interact include antibiotics and medications for seizures, fungal infections, and osteoporosis. In addition, a patient with kidney disease or a woman who is pregnant or breast-feeding must consult with a doctor before taking any magnesium-based supplements, antacids or laxatives. To ensure effectiveness, this mineral should be stored at room temperature and away from extreme heat and light.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Perdido
Post 4

When my doctor prescribed antibiotics to treat my sinus infection, I did not know that I would be unable to take my magnesium hydroxide pills at the same time. I found this out once I got home from the pharmacy and read the information packet that came with the antibiotics.

It said that I should not take any antacids within a few hours of taking this medicine. I could take an antacid one hour before taking the antibiotic or several hours afterward.

The problem was that I needed to take the antibiotic with food in order to avoid getting an upset stomach. Well, I have to take an antacid either right before eating or right after to avoid heartburn, and I couldn't do both.

OeKc05
Post 3

@kylee07drg – You're not the only one! I love magnesium hydroxide tablets. I was even tempted to eat more than I needed, but I knew this could cause discomfort, so I resisted the urge.

I hate having to drink a full glass of water with them, though. It washes away all the good flavor! Plus, it makes me feel really full, especially since I have just eaten when I take them.

I keep the tablets in my purse, because I know I usually need them after eating a big meal at a restaurant. When I eat small meals at home, I'm usually okay, but with richer foods and bigger servings, I have to have it.

lighth0se33
Post 2

I frequently get constipation, and I also experience heartburn. So, magnesium hydroxide was the perfect choice for my condition.

I got milk of magnesia to treat the constipation. I was happy to learn that it would also ease my acid reflux.

It gently softened my stools and didn't give me diarrhea at all. The first day I took it, I noticed that I didn't have any heartburn, either.

Milk of magnesia is one of those remedies that I will always keep in my medicine cabinet. I don't use it on a regular basis, but I have it for when I need it.

kylee07drg
Post 1

Am I the only one who loves the taste of those magnesium hydroxide chewable tablets? I used to use them for heartburn relief, and I cherished the flavor and texture!

I normally don't get heartburn, but I went through a phase in college where I got it every day. I found these pills, and I was delighted to discover that they didn't taste bitter or disgusting.

Once I started to chew them, they seemed to melt on my tongue. There was almost a fizzy sensation and a taste that reminded me of chewable vitamins, which I also love. I'm glad I don't have heartburn anymore, but I actually miss eating the tablets!

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email