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Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate
IUPAC name Magnesium citrate
Molecular formula C6H6O7Mg
CAS number 7779-25-1
PubChem 24511
EINECS number 231-923-9
SMILES [Mg+2].O=C([O-])CC(O)(CC(=O)[O-])C(O)=O
Molar mass 214.41 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Magnesium citrate is a chemical agent used medicinally as a saline laxative and to empty the bowel prior to a surgery or colonoscopy. It is available over the counter, both as a generic brand or under the brand name Citromag or Citroma. It is also used as a magnesium supplement in pills. The magnesium content of magnesium citrate corresponds to about 11%.

Magnesium citrate works by attracting water through the tissues by a process known as osmosis. Once in the intestine, it can attract enough water into the intestine to induce defecation. The additional water also helps to create more feces, which naturally stimulates bowel motility. This means it can also be used to treat rectal and colon problems. Magnesium citrate functions best on an empty stomach, and should always be followed with a full (eight ounce) glass of water or juice to help the magnesium citrate absorb properly and help prevent any complications. Magnesium citrate is generally not a harmful substance, but care should be taken to consult with a health professional if any adverse health problems are suspected or felt.



As a laxative syrup with a concentration of 1.745g per fl. oz, a typical dose for adults and children twelve years or older is seven to ten fluid ounces (the latter being 300 mL), followed immediately with a full eight fluid-ounce glass of water. For children between three and twelve years of age, the typical dose is roughly half that, based on physician recommendation. Magnesium citrate is not recommended for use in children and infants two years of age or less.[citation needed] As a magnesium supplement, a typical dose is 150-250 milligrams a day. Extremely high doses, e.g. 650 milligrams, have been used in the prophylaxis of migraines, in combination with riboflavin and, sometimes, low doses of amitriptyline. It is always important to correctly follow the doses prescribed by your doctor or physician.

Contraindications and precautions

Do not use magnesium citrate solutions if you are on a low salt diet since those syrups usually contain a high level of sodium, under the form of sodium bicarbonate.

Ask a doctor before use if you have:

  • kidney disease
  • a magnesium or sodium-restricted diet
  • abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • noticed a sudden change in bowels habits that persists over a period of two (2) weeks
  • already used a laxative for a period longer than one (1) week

Ask a doctor or a pharmacist before use if you are taking any other drug. Take magnesium citrate solutions two (2) or more hours before or after any other drugs. Laxatives may affect how other drugs work.

If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before to use magnesium citrate solutions.

Symptoms and effects

Magnesium citrate solutions generally produces bowel movement in half (½) to six (6) hours.

Stop use and ask a doctor if you have rectal bleeding or failure to have a bowel movement after use. These could be signs of a serious condition.

Taste and appearance

Magnesium citrate can be clear or colored, due to the flavoring agents. Magnesium citrate generally comes in lemon or lemon-lime flavor, but can come in cherry, orange and grape as well. It has an extremely sour taste, but chilling it in the refrigerator or pouring it over a glass of ice can help with the unpleasant taste. Only the lemon or lemon-lime flavors should be used in preparation for a colonoscopy, as the other colors are produced with dyes that would produce false indications in the scan. When dry, magnesium citrate is a white powder.


    See also

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Magnesium_citrate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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