Magnes (Oral)

Overview

Also known as magnesium sulfate, Magnes can be used for a variety of ailments. Commonly referred to as Epsom Salts, Magnes can be used appropriate for internal and external use. Classified as a mineral, magnesium is essential to the functioning of the body and has an impact on numerous physiological functions.

When taken orally, Magnes acts as a laxative and can relieve short-term constipation. As well as increasing the patient's magnesium levels, Magnes draws water into the intestines. This can distend the patient's abdomen, but also makes it easier for them to pass stools. Although Magnes is an effective treatment for mild to moderate constipation, it should be used with caution. In some cases, Magnes can be relatively fast-acting and patients may pass liquid stools following the treatment.

It's important that patients consult their physician before using Magnes as a constipation remedy as it may not be suitable for every patient. If patients have existing kidney problems, for example, Magnes could affect the electrolyte balance and may lead to complications. By consulting their doctor before using Magnes, patients can ensure that the treatment is appropriate for them.

As well as being used as a laxative, Magnes can be used as a soaking solution. When mixed with water, Magnes is an effective treatment for joint stiffness, sprains, strains, muscle aches and pains, as well as bruising and soreness.

When administered intravenously, Magnes can even be used to treat seizures in pregnant women, potentially dangerous arrhythmias, high blood pressure and polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.

Due to its range of uses, Magnes is a first-line treatment for many conditions. Whilst patients can use Magnes to increase low levels of magnesium, it can also be used to treat a variety of other conditions.

Although Magnes is classed as a mineral, rather than a medication, it should be used with caution. Magnes can have a dramatic effect on the body and patients should only use Magnes in accordance with their doctor's instructions. By doing so, patients can obtain relief from a variety of ailments, without increasing their risk of developing further health complications.

Conditions Treated

  • Constipation
  • Sprains, strains, bruising, joint stiffness, muscle aches and pains, soreness
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Low levels of magnesium (Hypomagnesemia)
  • Arrhythmia
  • Toxemia of pregnancy
  • Torsades de pointes (Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia)

Type Of Medicine

  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Mineral

Side Effects

When patients use Magnes, they may experience the following side-effects:

  • Skin irritation
  • Diarrhea

Often, these side-effects will depend on how the Magnes was used. If patients take Magnes orally as a remedy for constipation, they may be more likely to experience diarrhea, for example. Alternatively, skin irritation is more likely to occur after Magnes has been used as a soaking solution.

If the above side-effects are fairly mild and are not troublesome to the patient, they may not require medical attention.

However, patients should notify a healthcare practitioner immediately if they develop the following symptoms after using Magnes:

  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Irregular, slow or fast heartbeat
  • Skin infection after soaking
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sleepiness
  • Muscle weakness

In addition to this, patients should obtain medical advice if they experience any other adverse effects when using Magnes.

Dosage

Generally, Magnes is supplied as a powder which can be mixed into water to form a solution. If patients over the age of twelve years are using Magnes as a treatment for constipation, they are usually advised to add two to six level teaspoons to eight ounces of water. This can be taken as one dose or split evenly and taken as two doses during the day. If patients split the dose of Magnes they should leave at least four hours between each dose.

However, if patients between the ages of six and twelve years are prescribed Magnes for the treatment of constipation, they should only use one to two level teaspoons per day, dissolved in eight ounces of water. This can also be taken as one single dose or divided into two equal doses, with at least four hours being left between each doses.

Regardless of age, patients should not take more than two doses of Magnes per day when they are using the medication as a treatment for constipation. In addition to this, patients should only use Magnes two hours before or after taking other medications. Furthermore, patients should not use Magnes in conjunction with any other laxative treatments, unless they are advised to do so by a healthcare practitioner.

Although Magnes can be dissolved in water, patients may add a small amount of lemon juice to the mixture if they choose to. This can improve the taste of the mixture and make it easier to drink.

If adult patients are using Magnes to ease joint pain, stiffness, muscle aches, cramps or soreness, they should dissolve two cups of the mineral in at least one gallon of water. This amount of Magnes can be used as a soaking solution or in the bath. Alternatively, patients can soak a compress in the mixture and apply it to the affected area for approximately thirty minutes. If symptoms persists, patients can use the compress up to three times per day.

It is important that patients follow their doctor's advice and the manufacturer's instructions when using Magnes. If patients are unsure how to use this remedy or when to administer it, they should seek advice from their physician or pharmacist.

Potential Drug Interactions:

Before taking or using Magnes, patients should inform their doctor if they are using any other medications or treatments. This includes prescription medicines, over-the-counter medications, supplements and/or vitamins. As some medicines can interact with one another, Magnes may not be a suitable treatment for the patient if they are already taking certain other medications.

Furthermore, patients will need to obtain medical advice before using any new medicines, supplements or vitamins once they have started taking or using Magnes.

Warnings

If patients have any other existing health problems, they must seek medical advice and notify their doctor before they start using Magnes. In addition to this, patients should disclose their medical history to their physician before treatment with Magnes is commenced. There are some conditions which can affect the suitability of Magnes as a treatment and these may include:

  • Kidney disease

When Magnes is used as a remedy for constipation, it can be prescribed to patients over the age of six years. However, specific studies into the effects of Magnes on patients under this age have not been carried out. Due to this, Magnes is not recommended as a treatment for constipation in patients under the age of six years.

If Magnes is being used as a soaking solution, it should be suitable for children and teenagers but patients or their parents or caregivers should obtain medical advice before using the medication.

When patients use Magnes, they usually notice an improvement in their symptoms within a few days. However, if symptoms persist or get worse, patients should contact their physician for further advice.

Patients should not use Magnes as a remedy for constipation or as a soaking solution if they are pregnant. Pregnant patients must seek medical advice before using Magnes for any type of treatment. In some cases, Magnes could be harmful to pregnant patients and/or their unborn fetus.

If patients become pregnant when using Magnes, they should tell their doctor straight away.

If patients are using Magnes for any reason, they should seek medical advice before breastfeeding.

If patients have been diagnosed with diabetes, they should not use Magnes as a soaking solution, unless their doctor has directed them to do so.

If patients fit into any of the following categories, they must consult a healthcare practitioner before using Magnes as a treatment for constipation:

  • Pregnant and/or breastfeeding
  • Patients has nausea, stomach pain or vomiting
  • Patient is on a magnesium-restricted diet
  • Sudden change in bowel habits which has continued for two weeks or more
  • Patient has already used laxatives for longer than one week

If patients do not have a bowel movement after taking Magnes or experience rectal bleeding, they should contact their doctor and obtain medical advice.

If Magnes is being used as a soaking solution or on a compress, patients should stop using the medication and consult their physician if they experience skin irritation or develop an infection.

Before using Magnes, patients should tell their doctor if they have any known allergies. This includes allergies to medicines, vitamins, animals, foods, dyes, preservatives and any other substances. In rare cases, patients may exhibit an allergic reaction when using Magnes. If so, they will require urgent medical treatment. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Rash on the skin
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, throat or hands

Storage

If patients are storing Magnes at home, they should follow the manufacturer's instructions and the medication guide which accompanies the powder. However, patients must ensure that Magnes is kept in a safe place and that children and/or pets cannot gain access to it.

Generally, Magnes can be kept at room temperature but should always be kept in a closed container. As Magnes needs to be protected from heat, light or moisture, patients should not store it in a place which is exposed to extreme temperatures, such as the kitchen or bathroom.

If patients are advised to stop using Magnes or if the powder reaches it use-by date, patients should dispose of it carefully. However, Magnes should not be thrown out with household waste as it may pose a risk to other people. Patients should contact their physician office or pharmacist in order to dipose of Magnes and other medicines safely.

Summary

As Magnes can be used to treat a variety of ailments, it is a much-used remedy. When taken orally, Magnes can provide fast-acting relief from constipation, whilst topical use can alleviate muscle aches, pains, stiffness and soreness.

However, Magnes can cause serious side-effects, particularly if it is used improperly. Due to this, patients should always obtain medical advice before using the power and should only use Magnes in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and their doctor's advice.