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Milk of Magnesia



Milk of magnesia is used to relieve excess acidity, indigestion (dyspepsia), heartburn, gas, stomach discomfort and for the short-term treatment of constipation.

How it works

Milk of magnesia belongs to a class of medications called antacids and laxatives. It neutralizes the excess acid produced in stomach thereby providing relief from indigestion and associated discomfort. It also increases water retention in the large intestine and stimulates muscle movement thereby helping soften and release stool.

Common side effects

Flushing, Gastrointestinal disturbance, Decreased white blood cell count


Expert advice

  • Tell your doctor if you have any kidney problems.
  • Drink adequate water during use of milk of magnesia.
  • Consult your doctor and follow doctor’s advice regarding use in children below 3 years of age.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience diarrhea (especially in children or elderly).
  • Do not use for more than three consecutive days for treatment of constipation or more than fourteen consecutive days for treatment of acidity.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you experience muscle weakness, slow or irregular heartbeat, slow or shallow breathing, mood changes such as confusion, decreased urination, dizziness, extreme thirst, dry mouth, and stomach pain, blood in stools, nausea, vomiting, or sudden reddening of skin.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take if allergic to milk of magnesia or any of its ingredients.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)