What is Milk of Magnesia?
Milk of magnesia is also known as magnesium hydroxide and acts as an antacid or laxative. It draws moisture into the person’s stool and softens it.(1) Milk of magnesia can be purchased without a prescription, but if someone suffers from frequent constipation, a doctor should be consulted. Milk of magnesia should not be given to a child below 6 years of age.(1)
Uses of Milk of Magnesia
Milk of magnesia is available either in tablet or liquid form. In tablet form, it needs to be chewed before swallowing. It is available in regular strength liquid or concentrated liquid. Children below 12 years of age should not be given the concentrated form of milk of magnesia.
Milk of magnesia can be used for the following purposes.
Milk of Magnesia and Sunburn
It is believed, by applying milk of magnesia topically to sunburn, the pain and burning sensation is eased. It might work for some people but there is no empirical evidence supporting its use in sunburn.
Someone interested in sunburn relief should speak with their doctor. There are other remedies such as aloe vera that can work more effectively.
Milk of Magnesia and Acne
It is also believed that milk of magnesia can help in treating acne as it has the potential to break up surface oils. In a study it was observed, taking milk of magnesia along with 250-milligram tetracycline and washing the face 2 times a day with nonfat soap helped in reducing inflammation.(2) There are no more studies that support the use of milk of magnesia for the treatment of acne.
How to Take Milk of Magnesia?
The dosage of milk of magnesia may vary, but a person should not take more than that recommended by the doctor or written on the label. It can be consumed by mixing it with milk and water. It is important to shake it properly before consumption.
Side Effects of Milk of Magnesia
There are not many side effects linked with the consumption of milk of magnesia. However, if it does not suit to anyone the symptoms experienced would be:
Some serious side effects linked with the consumption of milk of magnesia are:
Those experiencing these side effects should stop using it and seek a doctor’s help.
Those taking milk of magnesia should ensure drinking plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. If experiencing diarrhea after taking milk of magnesia, just stop it’s consumption.
In case of an overdose of milk of magnesia, emergency help should be sought. The symptoms of overdose include:
- Mood change
- Muscle weakness
- Severe diarrhea
- Slow and irregular heartbeat
- Little or no urination
Milk of magnesia is a well-known laxative for the treatment of constipation in the short term. It should not be used for more than 7 days for constipation and 14 days for other digestive issues. The symptoms can worsen and get more serious on continuous usage. Instead, a doctor should be consulted.