Milk of Magnesia Uses, Health Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage & Warnings


Milk of magnesia, scientifically, is magnesium hydroxide. It is a chemical mostly used to treat indigestion and gastrointestinal problems. The chemical can be taken without a prescription and is known as OTC, i.e., over-the-counter. It doesn’t need a doctor’s consultation to use it. But it is always recommended to use any medicine via and only through a doctor’s prescription. Otherwise, unnecessary reactions will occur. That can be associated with metabolism weakness too. Milk of magnesia uses diverse for all ages, from children to old age. Constipation, indigestion, heartburn, peptic ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and gastric gland ulcers can all be treated with a dose of milk of magnesia. The dosage forms for this pharmaceutical product are available in tablet, capsule, powder (mainly internal powder), and syrup or semisolid elixir suspension. It is also referred to as the laxative category, but mainly saline. In the case of severe enema introduction as dosage forms, operation with milk of magnesia via the rectal route is uncommon but possible in some populations. Milk of magnesia uses also considered a popular dose in the category of antacids.

Milk of magnesia uses and health benefits –

Milk of magnesia is used for different gastrointestinal problems; it is taken to get relief from stomach duodenal irregularities. Milk of magnesia uses and benefits are categorized in 4 ways. 

Milk of magnesia uses
Source: Healthline

1. Treating constipation – 

Milk of magnesia or magnesium hydroxide is mostly used as a laxative and for purgative purposes.

  • It is used for treating constipation and strict bowel movements. It is used to relieve this problem by liquefying the wastes that have accumulated in the bowel system.
  • Constipation is a disorder in which the feces are solidified by a lack of water in the body and frequent eating of hard fruits.
  • Sucking water from the body can cause constipation, and milk of magnesia is introduced directly to the gastro line to neutralize the effects so that bowel movement can flow smoothly.
  • Milk of magnesia removes the uncomfortable feeling because it’s a laxative product but saline. This means it is not a strong laxative and should be taken twice daily for 4 to 5 consecutive days according to the Doctor’s prescription.

2. Relieving indigestion – 

  • Additionally, Milk of magnesia uses include treating digestive issues. An example of this is antacids.
  • As they release gastrointestinal pressure from the body by excretion and farting, it falls under the category of antacids.
  • It has a purifying quality that aids in the removal of harmful and metabolic wastes from the body.
  • Take milk of magnesia to alleviate the heat burn sensation brought on by acidity. Syrups are mostly employed as dose forms in this instance.
  • Milk of Magnesia produces an alkaline environment that minimizes gastric efflux while neutralizing the acid (HCL).

3. Treatment for mouth ulcers – 

  • Cotton swabs of milk of magnesia help in reducing mouth ulcers.
  • It neutralizes the pain and relieves the soreness of the ulcer.
  • Twice a day with cotton swabs dipped in the milk of magnesia towards chancre sores or mouth ulcers is a fast and effective way of curing them.
  • Milk of magnesia for mouth ulcers and sores is available in gels. Tinctures are also available for gargling with magnesium hydroxide for numbing the infected and dangerous areas.
  • After applying it, warm water is recommended to be drunk for the proper treatment to reduce sores and ulcers.

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4. Treats acne – 

  • When used as a skin treatment, milk of magnesia is said to remove oil from the skin’s outermost layer.
  • It leaves a wash of water on the face after absorbing oil from the oily and greasy skin. The oil residues are then rinsed away along with the milk of magnesia.
  • Additionally, it cleans out the dirt that has built up in acne and releases spores that allow disasters to enter the face.
  • Additionally, it prevents grease and hazardous air particles from entering.
  • Cotton swabs are also used in conjunction with it. Apply it to the facial skin and massage it for at least 20 minutes before washing it off with water.

5. Treatment of heavy gastrointestinal disorders – 

  • Hernias and hyperacidity are treated with milk of magnesia in case of severe disorders.
  • As we know, that product has a neutralizing capacity that can create an alkaline medium to dissociate HCL into basic form by the internal reaction mechanism.
  • The hernia is uncommon for milk of magnesia but is also used. It is applied to prevent the peristaltic forced movement of the esophagus down the first of the stomach, that is, the pylorus. 

How to use milk of magnesia as a dosage form?

  1. Tablets – 
  • Milk of magnesia tablets is available in every pharmacy shop as it is one of the most popular antacids that people take for indigestion, constipation, and heat burns.
  • Mostly, 0.311 gm or 1 gm milk of magnesia are taken for the treatment advised by the Doctor. It is an over-the-counter drug, so medical supervision is not followed, but the Doctor recommends it.
  • Milk of magnesia tablets is taken with water twice a day after the meal to neutralize the environment.
  1. Syrups – 
  • With water, milk of magnesia syrups is introduced where the water is acting as a medium.
  • Generally, 240ml to 360ml syrup bottles are available. The patient has to drink one spoon for 3 to 4 days per the Doctor’s advice.
  • It requires a minimum of 5 hours to show effective action in the body.
  • Daily, 25 gm of milk of magnesia is required to cure indigestion and constipation.
  1. Creams – 
  • In the treatment of acne and skin problems, milk of magnesia creams are used effectively.
  • A doctor’s prescription is not required, but the advice is always recommended. Milk of magnesia used in the cream helps remove oil, as we discussed.
  • A normal 100ml to 200ml tube is bought and used twice a day for 4- days.

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Precautions and warnings before using milk of magnesia 

  1. Medical history – 
  • Doctors are advised to check the family’s medical history of injuries and disorders.
  • Gastrointestinal problems can be followed by thigh genetics as well.
  • Or a person with a medical history of stomach and duodenal issues should follow the treatment of milk of magnesia as a dosage prescribed by a doctor.
  1. Consuming alcohol – 
  • Ulcerative colitis can occur due to excessive alcohol intake. During this, milk of magnesia will affect the stomach and liver by neutralizing the alcohol, but sudden changes can cause demerits to the body’s health.
  • Therefore, doctors’ advice should be followed if a person is a frequent alcohol consumer and wants to take milk of magnesia
  1. Pregnancy – 
  • During pregnancy, milk of magnesia is considered safe as it doesn’t harm the body and bowel movements.
  • It affects mood swings from contraction to relaxation.
  • Gynecologists’ suggestions are effectively recommended.

Side effects of milk of magnesia 

  1. Most common side effects showed by the milk of magnesia –
  • Diarrhea
  • UnComfortability
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy stomach feeling
  • Lightheadedness
  • Vomiting 
  1. Rare side effects showed by the milk of magnesia – 
  • Severe nausea 
  • Rectal bleeding
  • No bowel movement after taking the dose.

Also, Read How to cure mouth ulcers fast and naturally?

Final thoughts – 

Magnesium hydroxide, also known as milk of magnesia, is a chemical and medicinal substance mostly used to treat constipation and indigestion. It comes in many doses, including tablets, syrups, creams, and many others. Being an antacid, it is also used to treat acidity. However, there are also negative side effects associated with milk of magnesia, the most prevalent being diarrhea and vomiting. Rare situations like rectal bleeding can occur. You should consider Precautions and warnings in certain situations, such as pregnancy or if the patient drinks alcohol frequently.

Milk of magnesia is an OTC drug, an over-the-counter medicinal product that can be bought without a prescription from a doctor. Still, doctors’ advice is recommended before using milk for magnesia.


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