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Magnesium hydroxide sources, health risks

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by

Magnesium hydroxide is an inorganic compound that naturally occurs as the mineral brucite. The synthetic preparation of magnesium hydroxide involves treating seawater with lime. Magnesium hydroxide is commonly used as a component of antacids and laxatives. As an oral laxative, magnesium hydroxide works by drawing water towards the intestines and encouraging movement. As an antacid, magnesium hydroxide soothes heartburn and indigestion by decreasing the amount of stomach acid being produced.

Harmful effects that can be caused by magnesium hydroxide

Numerous side effects may occur after taking magnesium hydroxide. The most common of these is diarrhea, which usually happens if too much magnesium hydroxide is taken at a single time. Persistent bouts of diarrhea may then lead to dehydration, abdominal pains, rectal bleeding, and bloody stools.

Taking magnesium hydroxide may result in elevated magnesium levels, the symptoms of which include but aren’t limited to shallow breathing, irregular heartbeat, muscular weakness, and changes to one’s mental state.

Although rare, allergic reactions towards magnesium hydroxide have been recorded in the past. Individuals who experience rashes, severe dizziness, difficulty breathing, and/or itching or swelling of the face, tongue, and/or throat should stop taking magnesium hydroxide and seek immediate medical attention.

Magnesium hydroxide may interact with other types of medication and reduce their efficacy. Medicines for fungal infections, osteoporosis, seizures, mental and emotional disorders, and other magnesium-containing medications can all be affected by magnesium hydroxide.

In addition, certain individuals may be negatively impacted by the use of magnesium hydroxide, specifically people who:

  • Are on low-magnesium diets
  • Are prone to nausea or vomiting
  • Experience frequent stomach blockages
  • Have intestinal or bowel disease
  • Have kidney disease

People involved in the handling of magnesium hydroxide should exercise caution around this material as it can irritate the skin and respiratory system. It may irritate the eyes as well, and even lead to serious eye damage.

Body systems harmed by magnesium hydroxide

As medication intended to treat constipation and lower stomach acid production, magnesium hydroxide can heavily affect a person’s digestive system. Overdosing on magnesium hydroxide can, for example, cause a person to undergo a score of digestive problems that include rectal bleeding and constipation. As such, any person who misses their dose of magnesium hydroxide should never double the amount on their next dose.

Where to learn more


As an antacid and laxative, magnesium hydroxide can affect the digestive and cause numerous side effects, especially when taken in incorrect doses. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, rectal bleeding, and a boost to one’s magnesium levels may all occur as a result. Moreover, some individuals may experience severe allergic reactions after taking magnesium hydroxide.

Magnesium hydroxide can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system too.

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