How Do I Choose the Best Magnesium Citrate Laxative?

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  • Written By: M. West
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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A magnesium citrate laxative is categorized as a hyperosmotic saline laxative, which works by drawing water from the tissues into the small intestines. This movement of water ignites the forward movements of the intestines, which propels fecal material forward, producing a bowel movement. Although this medication is available under different brand names, the active ingredient is identical in each one. You should find no appreciable difference in laxatives composed of this ingredient.

In general, magnesium citrate laxative comes in a liquid form and can be found at your local drugstore usually in a liter-bottle size. It is usually a carbonated drink that can be consumed as-is or combined with another beverage. The most common flavors include lemon-lime or cherry, and this may help you to choose which to purchase depending on your preference.

Only take the magnesium citrate laxative following the directions of your doctor. Best results can be achieved by ingesting the medication on an empty stomach with a full glass of water, or can be combined with the water. Be sure that you get the exact dosage by measuring the medicine with a dose-measuring spoon or cup, instead of a tablespoon. This medicine should not be taken if you have abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. Don’t take this oral laxative longer than one week unless your doctor has instructed you to do so.


You may experience different side effects from a magnesium citrate laxative. The most common ones are nausea, pain, and bloating. The use of this medication on a long-term basis usually causes a loss of normal bowel response, causing the constipation to worsen. High potassium or magnesium blood levels are occasionally seen in patients with kidney disorders.

This constipation treatment may cause diarrhea, which can lead to a loss of fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes. Drink two to three quarts of liquids each day to replace the lost fluid in order to avoid dehydration. Broth or sports drinks contain electrolytes that can replenish the potassium and salt lost. Call your doctor if you experience any symptoms of electrolyte imbalance, such as confusion, dizziness, or lightheadedness. Other more severe signs of this condition include irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, and weakness.

Frequent use of a magnesium citrate laxative can lead to dependence. In this condition, the body forgets the normal intestinal movements that propel fecal material through the bowel, which causes you to depend on the medication for a bowel movement. Consult your doctor if you experience this problem.

Aside from using laxatives, you can employ other measures to prevent constipation. Plenty of fluid will assist in the evacuation process, so try to drink two to three quarts a day. Eat bran cereals and whole grain products while also incorporating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet each day. Engaging in gentle exercise as much as possible will also help the body to cleanse naturally.


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Post 3

@serenesurface-- Even some grape flavored ones taste really bad. I think it depends on the brand. In my experience, the ones with the cheaper, generic brands don't taste as good.

Aside from the flavor, I also check that the laxative is sugar free since I'm diabetic. And this laxative does require one to drink lots of water (that's how it works, it pulls water into the intestines). I try to eat a balanced diet full of fiber to avoid the need of laxatives. But this is a good one that works for mild constipation and I haven't experienced any negative side effects either.

Post 2

I use this kind of laxative too. I tried all three flavors -- grape, cherry and lemon. I'm not too picky when it comes to medicine and supplement flavors but the cherry and lemon are really not good. I much prefer the grape flavored magnesium citrate laxative.

Post 1

I normally don't experience constipation but I experienced it recently as a side effect of pain relievers and muscle relaxers I was given for a back injury. My doctor recommended that I take a magnesium citrate laxative until the effects of my medicines wore off. So I used liquid magnesium citrate.

It was easy to take and tasted just fine. Initially, I wasn't sure if it was working or not. I didn't experience cramps or gas that most laxatives cause. But it did solve my problem and everything went back to normal.

If I ever need a laxative again, this will definitely be my preference.

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