Milk Of magnesia For YOUR CONSTIPATION

What is milk of magnesia? Discover it’s dosage and side effects. Take for your IBS, view and leave reviews for other visitors.

What a great treatment this is when you are having difficulties opening your bowels.. The Phillips brand has various uses, but people are using it worldwide in irritable bowel syndrome and has been around for over a century now. 

It is often referred to as a gently laxative, but has excellent results if you have constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

So let's take a look at what you need to know:

What Is It?

What is Milk of Magnesia? Simply, its Magnesium Hydroxide. The trace element - magnesium or Mg - is required by your bodies enzymes, muscles and nerves to function. Each 15ml contains 500mg of Mg. 

It is used as an osmotic laxative to help with your constipation symptoms. You may remember that osmosis is the process through which water moves from an area of high concentration (in this case your bodies cells and blood vessels) to an area of low concentration - i.e bowel through the cell walls which line your gut because they have partially permeable membranes. By doing so, it softens stools and aids passage through your bowel.

What are it's uses?

This medicine is used for uncortable gastrointestinal symptoms. It is predominantly used as a laxative in constipation, but can also be used as an antacid for heartburn and indigestion. It has also been used as a topical treatment for acne and oily skin, although this use is unlicensed. 

Dose of Milk of Magnesia for constipation

Like any medicine, when using milk of magnesia for constipation, you should always follow the manufacturers instructions. It is also advisable to discuss this with your own doctor or pharmacist before taking.

Preparations - Suspension (liquid), Chewable Tablets

Milk of magnesia comes as original, fresh mint, and wild cherry. It's concentrated form is fresh strawberry flavored.

Dose In constipation

You should take two to four tablespoonfuls (30-60ml) in the evening before bedtime.  Drink a glass of water (8 ounces) with the medicine to obtain the best results. The Phillips preparation normally comes with a dosing cup for ease of use. The concentrated formula dose is lower at one or two tablespoonfuls (15-30ml) in the evening before bedtime.

Chewable tablet - 8 tablets a day, preferably at bedtime.

Dose In GERD, indigestion or heartburn

The dose is normally 5-10ml or one to two teaspoonfuls when required, with a maximum dose of between 30ml and 60ml a day. Remember that at the higher dose, you may notice loose bowel movements.

How quickly does it work?

This treatment  normally starts working within 6 hours which is why it should normally be taken at night. 

Side Effects

Diarrhea is by far the most common milk of magnesia side effect, but usually settles with stopping your treatment. If continuing problems with constipation after stopping, reduce the dose your suspension or chewable tablets by 50%.

Other side effects include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Thirst
  • Increased heart rate or irregularity
  • Reduced urination
  • Confusion (only in overdose)
  • Electrolyte disturbance

Are there any contraindications?

There are few contraindications in taking this medicine. The main ones are:

  • Hypermagnesemia or high blood magnesium levels
  • Hyponatremia or low blood sodium levels such as SIADH or syndrome of inappropriate ADH
  • Renal or kidney failure - check with your doctor before taking
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Epilepsy - discuss with your doctor first
  • Sensitiviity or allergy to the medication

Are there any drug interactions?

Whilst drug interactions are unusual, there are some theoretical interactions with the following drugs:

  • Anti-fungals such as ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • Antiviral drugs - such as Isentress (Raltegravir), Rescriptor (Delavirdine), Reyataz (atazanavir) 
  • Dasatinib - used in the treatment of CML or chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Gabapentin - used in pain relief, neuropathy
  • Digoxin - Used in the of atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and heart failure
  • Phosphate supplements such as potassium phosphate
  • Quinolone antibiotics including Ciprofloxacin and Levofloxacin
  • Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate - Used in the treatment of hyperkalemia or high potassium levels
  • Tetracycline antibiotics including doxycycline minocycline, oxyteracycline

If taking any of these please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist. It maybe a simple case of changing when you take the drug or offering you alternatives.

Is it safe in pregnancy?

Whilst the manufacturer states: If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use, it is generally thought of as being safe in pregnancy assuming that you don't have any concurrent illnesses. No randomised controlled trials have been performed on the use of milk of magnesia in pregnancy, so safety profile is anecdotal, although it has been used for many years without reported problems. 

Is it safe when breastfeeding?

As in pregnancy, there are no reported trials of it's use when breastfeeding. However, magnesium isn't absorbed much into breast milk, so it isn't thought to be harmful to breastfeed.

Doctors review

As a gastroenterologist, I have often prescribed this therapy when symptoms are not controlled with simple lifestyle modifications, particularly with diet. I believe it to be a safe and effective treatment in my patients with constipation symptoms. Because it is quite gentle, it doesn't have some of the other side effects (such as bloating, wind and significant abdominal cramps) that are often seen with other laxatives. Often the older medicines are the best option as they have been around for a long time and are aware of any longer term issues in taking the medicine, in this case there doesn't appear to be any so.

Your Reviews

If you would like to leave a milk of magnesia review, please go to the treatment review section on the sites navigation to leave your review. I will add them to this page to help others with constipation problems.

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