Milk of magnesia is an oral suspension that contains hydrated magnesium carbonate. It is an over-the-counter medication intended for occasional or short-term use as an antacid or laxative. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should ask their physician before using milk of magnesia. Patients with kidney disease should check with their healthcare team to ensure this medication is safe for them to use. If symptoms persist for more than seven days, the patient should see a doctor before continuing this medication. Milk of magnesia is available as a chewable tablet and as a liquid. Individuals using the liquid formulation will need to shake the medicine before consuming it.
As mentioned, many individuals use milk of magnesia as an over-the-counter laxative and antacid. Thus, patients take milk of magnesia for constipation relief. This medication can provide heartburn relief, and it is also a treatment for indigestion and sour stomach. Some patients will try a milk of magnesia colon cleanse. In some cases, individuals will have access to a variety of milk of magnesia flavors. However, before taking it, patients must first understand the potential side effects of milk of magnesia.
Diarrhea is the most frequently reported side effect that patients experience after taking milk of magnesia. As a laxative, this medication increases the amount of water in the intestines to induce a bowel movement. It softens and moistens the stool. Most patients will have a normal bowel movement within six hours of taking a single dose of milk of magnesia. However, diarrhea could occur if an individual takes more than one dose in twenty-four hours or if the dose consumed exceeds the recommended amount on the product packaging. Diarrhea is defined as loose or watery stools. Patients may experience this symptom with abdominal pain or bloating.
If diarrhea occurs, patients should not take any additional doses of milk of magnesia. They should consult a doctor if nausea accompanies their diarrhea. It is often beneficial to eat a low-fiber diet and avoid dairy products until diarrhea resolves. Patients are also advised to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. If diarrhea continues for more than two days, patients may wish to consult a doctor. They may prescribe additional medication.
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