Magnesium Hydroxide Systemic

|Magnesium Hydroxide Systemic

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Almora 4
  • Chloromag 1
  • Citroma 2
  • Concentrated Phillips" Milk of Magnesia 5
  • Mag-200 7
  • Mag-L-100 1
  • Magonate 4
  • Mag-Ox 400 7
  • Mag-Tab SR 6
  • Magtrate 4
  • Maox 7
  • MGP 4
  • Phillips" Chewable Tablets 5
  • Phillips" Milk of Magnesia 5
  • Slow-Mag 1
  • Uro-Mag 7

In Canada—

  • Citro-Mag 2
  • Mag 2 8
  • Maglucate 4
  • Magnesium-Rougier 3
  • Phillips" Magnesia Tablets 5
  • Phillips" Milk of Magnesia 5


For quick reference, the following magnesium supplements are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following:
1. Magnesium Chloride (mag-NEE-zhumKLOR-ide)
2. MagnesiumCitrate # (mag-NEE-zhum SIH-trayt)
3. MagnesiumGluceptate (mag-NEE-zhum gloo-SEP-tate)*
4. Magnesium Gluconate (mag-NEE-zhum GLOO-ko-nate)
5. Magnesium Hydroxide # †† (mag-NEE-zhumhye-DROX-ide)
6. Magnesium Lactate (mag-NEE-zhum LAK-tate)
7. Magnesium Oxide # (mag-NEE-zhum OX-ide)§
8. Magnesium Pidolate (mag-NEE-zhum PID-o-late)*
9. Magnesium Sulfate # ** (mag-NEE-zhum SUL-fate)§
* Not commercially available in the U.S.
† Not commercially available in Canada
‡ Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
§ Generic name product may be available in Canada

# See Laxatives (Oral) for laxative use of magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium oxide, and magnesium sulfate.

** See Magnesium Sulfate (Systemic) for use in seizures and uterine tetany.

†† See Antacids (Oral) for antacid use of magnesium hydroxide and magnesium oxide.


  • Antihypomagnesemic—Magnesium Chloride; Magnesium Citrate; Magnesium Gluceptate; Magnesium Gluconate; Magnesium Hydroxide; Magnesium Lactate; Magnesium Oxide; Magnesium Pidolate; Magnesium Sulfate
  • Electrolyte replenisher—Magnesium Chloride; Magnesium Sulfate
  • Nutritional supplement, mineral—Magnesium Chloride; Magnesium Citrate; Magnesium Gluceptate; Magnesium Gluconate; Magnesium Hydroxide; Magnesium Lactate; Magnesium Oxide; Magnesium Pidolate; Magnesium Sulfate


Magnesium is used as a dietary supplement for individuals who are deficient in magnesium. Although a balanced diet usually supplies all the magnesium a person needs, magnesium supplements may be needed by patients who have lost magnesium because of illness or treatment with certain medicines.

Lack of magnesium may lead to irritability, muscle weakness, and irregular heartbeat.

Injectable magnesium is given only by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Some oral magnesium preparations are available only with a prescription. Others are available without a prescription.

Magnesium supplements are available in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Magnesium Chloride
    • Tablets (U.S.)
    • Enteric-coated tablets (U.S.)
    • Extended-release tablets (U.S.)
  • Magnesium Citrate
    • Oral solution (U.S. and Canada)
  • Magnesium Gluceptate
    • Oral solution (Canada)
  • Magnesium Gluconate
    • Oral solution (U.S.)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
    • Tablets (U.S.)
    • Chewable tablets (U.S. and Canada)
    • Oral solution (U.S. and Canada)
  • Magnesium Lactate
    • Extended-release tablets (U.S.)
  • Magnesium Oxide
    • Capsules (U.S.)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Magnesium Pidolate
    • Powder for oral solution (Canada)
  • Magnesium Sulfate
    • Crystals (U.S.)
  • Parenteral
  • Magnesium Chloride
    • Injection (U.S.)
  • Magnesium Sulfate
    • Injection (U.S. and Canada)

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

The best dietary sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, peas, beans, and cereal grains in which the germ or outer layers have not been removed. Hard water has been found to contain more magnesium than soft water. A diet high in fat may cause less magnesium to be absorbed. Cooking may decrease the magnesium content of food.

The daily amount of magnesium needed is defined in several different ways.

  • For U.S.—
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person"s age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
  • For Canada—
  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) for magnesium are generally defined as follows:






Infants and children

Birth to 3 years of age



4 to 6 years of age



7 to 10 years of age



Adolescent and adult males



Adolescent and adult females



Pregnant females



Breast-feeding females



Before Using This Dietary Supplement

If you are taking this dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For magnesium supplements, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your health care professional if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to magnesium. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—It is especially important that you are receiving enough vitamins and minerals when you become pregnant and that you continue to receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals throughout your pregnancy. The healthy growth and development of the fetus depend on a steady supply of nutrients from the mother. However, taking large amounts of dietary supplements during pregnancy may be harmful to the mother and/or fetus and should be avoided.

Breast-feeding—It is especially important that you receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals so that your baby will also get the vitamins and minerals needed to grow properly. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement while breast-feeding may be harmful to the mother and/or baby and should be avoided.

Children—Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Older adults—Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Studies have shown that older adults may have lower blood levels of magnesium than younger adults. Your health care professional may recommend that you take a magnesium supplement.

Medicines or other dietary supplements—Although certain medicines or other dietary supplements should not be used together at all, in other cases they may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your health care professional may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking magnesium, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Cellulose sodium phosphate—Use with magnesium supplements may prevent cellulose sodium phosphate from working properly; magnesium supplements should be taken at least 1 hour before or after cellulose sodium phosphate
  • Magnesium-containing preparations, other, including magnesium enemas—Use with magnesium supplements may cause high blood levels of magnesium, which may increase the chance of side effects
  • Sodium polystyrene sulfonate—Use with magnesium supplements may cause the magnesium supplement to be less effective
  • Tetracyclines, oral—Use with magnesium supplements may prevent the tetracycline from working properly; magnesium supplements should be taken at least 1 to 3 hours before or after oral tetracycline

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of magnesium. Make sure you tell your health care professional if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Heart disease—Magnesium supplements may make this condition worse
  • Kidney problems—Magnesium supplements may increase the risk of hypermagnesemia (too much magnesium in the blood), which could cause serious side effects; your health care professional may need to change your dose

Proper Use of This Dietary Supplement

Dosing—The amount of magnesium needed to meet normal daily recommended intakes will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average amounts of magnesium.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules, chewable tablets, crystals for oral solution, extended-release tablets, enteric-coated tablets, powder for oral solution, tablets, oral solution):
    • To prevent deficiency, the amount taken by mouth is based on normal daily recommended intakes (Note that the normal daily recommended intakes are expressed as an actual amount of magnesium. The salt form [e.g., magnesium chloride, magnesium gluconate, etc.] has a different strength.):
      • For the U.S.
      • Adult and teenage males—270 to 400 milligrams (mg) per day.
      • Adult and teenage females—280 to 300 mg per day.
      • Pregnant females—320 mg per day.
      • Breast-feeding females—340 to 355 mg per day.
      • Children 7 to 10 years of age—170 mg per day.
      • Children 4 to 6 years of age—120 mg per day.
      • Children birth to 3 years of age—40 to 80 mg per day.
      • For Canada
      • Adult and teenage males—130 to 250 mg per day.
      • Adult and teenage females—135 to 210 mg per day.
      • Pregnant females—195 to 245 mg per day.
      • Breast-feeding females—245 to 265 mg per day.
      • Children 7 to 10 years of age—100 to 135 mg per day.
      • Children 4 to 6 years of age—65 mg per day.
      • Children birth to 3 years of age—20 to 50 mg per day.
    • To treat deficiency:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children—Treatment dose is determined by prescriber for each individual based on severity of deficiency.

Magnesium supplements should be taken with meals. Taking magnesium supplements on an empty stomach may cause diarrhea.

For individuals taking the extended-release form of this dietary supplement:

  • Swallow the tablets whole. Do not chew or suck on the tablet.
  • Some tablets may be broken or crushed and sprinkled on applesauce or other soft food. However, check with your health care professional first, since this should not be done for most tablets.

For individuals taking the powder form of this dietary supplement:

  • Pour powder into a glass.
  • Add water and stir.

Missed dose—If you miss taking your magnesium supplement for one or more days there is no cause for concern, since it takes some time for your body to become seriously low in magnesium. However, if your health care professional has recommended that you take magnesium, try to remember to take it as directed every day.

Storage—To store this dietary supplement:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the dietary supplement to break down.
  • Keep the dietary supplement from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
  • Do not keep dietary supplements that are outdated or are no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded dietary supplement is out of the reach of children.

Side Effects of This Dietary Supplement

Along with its needed effects, a dietary supplement may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your health care professional immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare (with injectable magnesium only)

Dizziness or fainting; flushing; irritation and pain at injection site—for intramuscular administration only; muscle paralysis; troubled breathing

Symptoms of overdose (rare in individuals with normal kidney function)

Blurred or double vision; coma; dizziness or fainting; drowsiness (severe); increased or decreased urination; slow heartbeat; troubled breathing

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your health care professional if the following side effect continues or is bothersome:

Less common (with oral magnesium)


Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some individuals. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care professional.

Revised: 07/11/1995

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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