Magnesium hydroxide is used as an antacid for short-term relief of stomach upset and as a laxative for short-term treatment of constipation. Magnesium hydroxide is available in nonprescription products alone and in combination with other nonprescription ingredients to relieve stomach upset.
Common brand names:
Phillips Milk of Magnesia
Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods
Antacids, including magnesium hydroxide, may reduce the absorption of dietary iron. Iron supplements do not require stomach acid for absorption and one human study found that a magnesium hydroxide/aluminum hydroxide antacid did not decrease supplemental iron absorption.2
The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
Individuals taking potassium-depleting diuretics and those who are otherwise at risk of developing potassium deficiency (such as people with chronic diarrhea or vomiting) may experience a fall in serum potassium levels if they take magnesium without taking additional potassium.3 This could lead to muscle cramps or, in individuals taking digoxin or digitalis, more serious problems such as cardiac arrhythmias. Individuals who have a history of potassium deficiency and those who are at risk of developing potassium deficiency, as well as people taking digoxin or digitalis, should consult a physician before taking magnesium-containing products.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
1. Russell RM, Golner BB, Krasinski SD, et al. Effect of antacid and H2 receptor antagonists on the intestinal absorption of folic acid. J Lab Clin Med 1988;112:458–63.
2. O’Neil-Cutting MA, Crosby WH. The effect of antacids on the absorption of simultaneously ingested iron. JAMA 1986;255:1468–70.
3. Dyckner T, Wester PO. Ventricular extrasystoles and intracellular electrolytes before and after potassium and magnesium infusions in patients on diuretic treatment. Am Heart J 1979;97:12–8.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
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