Milk of magnesia or Philip’s milk of magnesia is mainly taken as an antacid or a laxative.
Table. The physical and chemical properties of milk of magnesia
Natural mineral present
Suspension, chewable tablet
The onset of action
30 minutes to 6 hours (as laxatives)
What does the milk of magnesia do?
Milk of magnesia is used as an antacid or a laxative. Milk of magnesia is alkaline, which means that it would neutralize any acidic substance encountered. Hence, it is an excellent antacid. It neutralizes excess stomach acid or hydrochloric acid. The hydroxide ions of the milk combine with the hydrogen ions in the stomach acid to reduce excess acidity in the stomach.
The magnesium ions in the milk of magnesia withdraw water from the surrounding tissues via osmosis. The extra water pooled in the intestines softens and bulks up the feces that, in turn, stimulates its nerves. The magnesium ions increase the water and electrolyte content in the intestine, resulting in intestinal motility.
How should you take milk of magnesia?
Milk of magnesia is usually taken as a single daily dose, preferably at bedtime. It should be taken by oral route only. Follow the instructions mentioned in the package and take milk of magnesia just as directed. Do not take more or less than prescribed.
Be cautious while giving milk of magnesia to children. Carefully read all the instructions to ensure that you are giving the right product for your child.
Some of the instructions to follow while taking milk of magnesia include:
- Take milk of magnesia with a glass full of water
- Avoid taking milk of magnesia continuously for a week
- Shake the oral suspension well before use
- Take other medicines 2 hours before or after taking milk of magnesia
- After using, store them at room temperature away from heat and moisture
What are some of the brand names of milk of magnesia?
Some of the common brands of milk of magnesia available in the United States include:
- Milk of Magnesia
- Almacone (containing aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone)
- Alumox (containing aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone)
- ConRX AR (containing aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide)
- Duo Fusion (containing calcium carbonate, famotidine, magnesium hydroxide)
Who should not take milk of magnesia?
People with the following conditions should not take milk of magnesia:
- Kidney failure
- Undiagnosed abdominal pain
- Appendicitis symptoms (loss of appetite, sudden pain that originates in the right side of the abdomen)
- Intestinal obstruction
- Abnormality in the concentration of the electrolytes in the body
- Heart problems
- Fecal impaction (severe bowel condition in which the hard and dry stools gets stuck in the intestine)
- Rectal fissure (small tear in the lining of the anus)
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Milk of Magnesia. http://web.mit.edu/piuska/Public/Ekaterinburg%20more/Ekaterinburg%20research/Milk%20of%20Magnesia.pdf
Medline Plus. Magnesium Hydroxide. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601073.html