Magnesium citrate - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Magnesium citrate: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is magnesium citrate?

Magnesium citrate is a form of magnesium that is usually taken as a supplement. It also acts as an exceptional laxative because it draws in water into the small intestine to help produce an easy bowel movement and relieve constipation. Another way it helps in relieving constipation is by retaining water in the stools, bulking them up.

Most organs like the heart, kidney, and muscles need magnesium to work optimally.

What are the uses of magnesium citrate?

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral involved in a host of crucial activities in the body. 

It enables and regulates muscle and nerve function, helps produce energy, and regulates electrical signals to keep your heartbeat regular.

It is also involved in the process of blood sugar and blood pressure regulation and digestive health and works as a laxative of choice. Magnesium is crucial for healthy bones and teeth too.

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What are the side effects of magnesium citrate?

Magnesium citrate can cause side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramping
  • Loose, watery stools  or diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Increased sweating
  • Weakness
  • Seizures 
  • Dependence on laxatives containing magnesium citrate can spur permanent damage to your gut.

Long-term use of this medicine at very high doses (more than 5,000 mg/day) can cause magnesium toxicity that can cause low BP, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, flushing of the face, and even cardiac arrest, leading to death.


Frequently Asked Questions about Magnesium citrate

1. How much magnesium citrate is safe to take?

The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is:

  • 420 mg per day for adult men
  • 320 mg per day for adult women
  • 360 mg per day for pregnant women
You can take just 250 mg/day of magnesium citrate as a supplement because a normal diet is usually enough to reach the RDA for magnesium.

2. Can magnesium citrate help you lose weight?

Magnesium is helpful for controlling blood insulin and sugar levels, especially in those who are obese. This usually helps you lose some weight as well because the insulin hormone triggers weight gain.
Magnesium also helps with water retention and bloating. This means you may just lose some water weight when on this medicine.

3. Is magnesium citrate good for bones?

Magnesium citrate helps regulate muscle function, which helps your bones remain strong and healthy. It also regulates the transport of calcium across the body’s cell membranes, creating healthy bones.
Magnesium helps prevent osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women, by regulating calcium metabolism. All these actions help with bone health for longer.

4. How does magnesium citrate help your body?

Magnesium helps in the contraction of muscles, conduction of nerve impulses, and a normal heart rhythm. It also plays a big role in the transport of minerals like calcium and potassium.
Plus, it’s a natural laxative as it draws water into stools, enabling an easier poop. It helps you sleep better too.

5. Is magnesium citrate a blood thinner?

Yes, it’s a mild blood thinner. Magnesium citrate slows blood clotting. For this reason, people with clotting disorders should avoid it.
Magnesium overdose can lead to bloody stools, coughing up blood, pink or red urine, red spots on the skin, and unusual bruising and excessive bleeding even from tiny wounds.

6. When to take Magnesium citrate?

Magnesium citrate should be used exactly as directed on the label or as recommended by your doctor.
Take it on an empty stomach, at least an hour before or two hours after a meal with a full glass of water regularly at the same time(s) each day for maximum benefit.

7. Can dialysis patients take magnesium citrate?

Patients with chronic kidney disease who require regular dialysis are usually contra-indicated for magnesium citrate laxatives or supplements. This is because magnesium supplements can cause excessive accumulation of magnesium in the blood.
This can lead to excessive muscle weakness. Both low and high levels of magnesium in the blood can cause several complications.

8. Can magnesium citrate cause miscarriage?

There is no definitive research that proves that magnesium citrate can harm a fetus. Magnesium citrate is FDA approved, and it falls under category C, which means that the number of human studies on it are insufficient.
This also means, in animal studies, this medicine has shown adverse effects on fetal health.

9. Can you take magnesium citrate while pregnant?

There is no easy answer to this question. The medicine has insufficient human studies regarding risks to a fetus. But, never use this medicine without a doctor’s advice if you are pregnant.
Also, be mindful that insufficient magnesium during pregnancy can cause preeclampsia that can kill your unborn baby.

10. Can I consume alcohol with magnesium citrate?

No. Drinking alcohol while taking magnesium citrate can cause intestinal side effects and make your diarrhea worse. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, and alcohol also has a strong diuretic effect which causes dehydration. This may decrease the efficacy of magnesium citrate. Dehydration can lead to dizziness and unconsciousness.

11. Can I drive if I have consumed magnesium citrate?

Yes, you may, as magnesium citrate usually produces a bowel movement within 30 minutes to 6 hours after you take it.
Just remember, it does not make you poop all day long and also not immediately. This means you can drive if you’ve had this medicine a few minutes back.
Consult experts at Yashoda Hospitals for any further queries related to magnesium citrate and find out if you can safely consume it based on your health conditions.



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      Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.