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Magnesium Citrate



Magnesium citrate is a mineral salt used to treat constipation or for bowel evacuation before surgery or other bowel procedures (colonoscopy, radiography).

How it works

Magnesium citrate is a saline laxative. It is believed to work by increasing fluid content in small intestine and thus helps in bowel evacuation.

Common side effects

Nausea, Abdominal bloating, Abdominal cramp, Allergic reaction, Blood in stool, Cramps, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Electrolyte imbalance, Fainting, Altered heart rate, Increased sweating, Vomiting, Weakness


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Expert advice

  • Do not take magnesium citrate if you are allergic to magnesium citrate or any other ingredient of tablet or solution.
  • Magnesium citrate solution should be taken empty stomach.
  • If you are taking bisphosphonate like alendronic acid, digoxin, or a tetracycline like doxycycline along with magnesium citrate take these medicines either 4 hours prior or after.
  • Avoid using magnesium citrate if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Do not take magnesium citrate if you suffer from rectal bleeding, kidney or heart problems, appendicitis, or bowel obstruction, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, and magnesium or potassium deficiency.

Frequently asked questions

Magnesium Citrate

Q. Is magnesium citrate the same as magnesium?
Magnesium citrate is a salt of magnesium.

Q. Is magnesium citrate good for leg cramps and diverticulitis?
That can be used to treat constipation, leg cramps and diverticulitis.

Q. How often can I take magnesium citrate for constipation?
 Please consult your doctor for the dose and duration required. 
Q. Is magnesium citrate safe for adults and toddlers?
Magnesium citrate is safe for adults and toddlers if used as recommended. However, its safety is not evaluated in children below 2 years. In case of any side effects, consult your doctor.
Q. Is magnesium citrate habit forming?
Magnesium citrate can be habit forming if you depend on them regularly for bowel evacuation.
Q. Can I take magnesium citrate with Miralax (polyethylene glycol 3350) or metoprolol?
Magnesium can be taken with Miralax (polyethylene glycol 3350) or metoprolol. Please consult your doctor before use.
Q. Does magnesium citrate cause nausea, weight loss, gas, softened stool, bloating?
Magnesium citrate may cause nausea, gas, softened stool, bloating. Magnesium citrate may cause temporary weight loss due to diarrhea.

Content on this page was last updated on 15 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)