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MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS (Systemic)
Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
# 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.
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:
Importance of DietFor 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.
Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) for magnesium are generally defined as follows:
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:
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:
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.
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:
For individuals taking the powder form of this dietary supplement:
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:
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.
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