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Side Effects of Milk of Magnesia

by
author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Side Effects of Milk of Magnesia
Woman with her hands on her tummy holds it as if she is in some pain. Photo Credit lolostock/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

If you experience frequent heartburn or difficult or uncomfortable bowel movements due to constipation, you may experience relief from your symptoms following treatment with Milk of Magnesia. Also called magnesium hydroxide, this medication helps alleviate digestive discomfort by increasing the amount of water in your intestinal tract while simultaneously decreasing stomach acid. Talk with your physician about the side effects of Milk of Magnesia before beginning treatment.

Diarrhea

While using Milk of Magnesia, you may develop diarrhea as a side effect, MedlinePlus reports. Diarrhea, or frequent, loose bowel movements, may be bothersome and may occur in conjunction with abdominal cramping or bloating. Frequent episodes of diarrhea may also increase your risk of becoming dehydrated due to excessive fluid loss. Consult your doctor if you experience persistent or severe diarrhea following treatment with Milk of Magnesia.

Nausea or Vomiting

Milk of Magnesia may irritate your stomach, which may cause stomach upset side effects such as nausea or vomiting, PubMed Health reports. Stomach discomfort may also contribute to a loss of appetite. Seek care from your medical provider if nausea or vomiting recurs with subsequent doses of this medication.

Allergic Reaction

Infrequently, treatment with Milk of Magnesia may cause an allergic reaction. If you are hypersensitive to any of the components of Milk of Magnesia, such as magnesium, do not take this medication. Improper use of magnesium hydroxide may cause facial swelling, difficulty breathing or hives, Drugs.com warns. Additional side effects may include low-blood pressure, changes in heart rhythm, vomiting, trouble breathing, depression and coma. Contact a doctor immediately if any of these side effects arise. Without prompt medical care, allergic reaction side effects may be life threatening.

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