How Fast Does Magnesium Citrate Work

How Fast Does Magnesium Citrate Work

Magnesium citrate is a medication used to treat occasional constipation on a short-term basis. It belongs to the class of medications called saline laxatives and works by causing water to be retained with the stool, thereby increasing the number of bowel movements and softening the stool for easier passage. But how fast does magnesium citrate work?

Magnesium citrate usually causes a bowel movement within 30 minutes to 6 hours after taking it. The time it takes to work can vary from person to person, and factors such as individual metabolism, medical condition, and dosage can influence the speed of its effectiveness.

How to Take Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate comes in powder form to mix with a liquid and as a solution to take by mouth. It is typically taken as a single daily dose or divided into two or more parts over one day. It is important to follow the directions on the product label carefully and to take magnesium citrate exactly as directed. Taking more or less of it or taking it more often than prescribed by a doctor is not recommended.

The liquid product should be taken with a full glass of liquid, while the powder for solution should be mixed with cold water or other liquids and shaken or stirred thoroughly. If not used within 36 hours after preparation, the oral solution mixture should be disposed of. It is advisable to consult a pharmacist or doctor for any questions about how to mix or take this medication.

Precautions and Side Effects

Before taking magnesium citrate, it is important to inform the doctor or pharmacist about any allergies, other medications being taken, and any medical conditions such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or a sudden change in bowel habits lasting more than 2 weeks. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should also seek medical advice before using magnesium citrate.

Common side effects of magnesium citrate may include loose, watery, or more frequent stools. However, some side effects can be serious, such as blood in the stool or being unable to have a bowel movement after use. It is important to consult a doctor if any unusual problems are experienced while taking this medication.

Disposal and Overdose

It is important to keep magnesium citrate in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Unneeded medications should be disposed of properly, and it is recommended to consult a pharmacist or local waste disposal company for the correct disposal method. In case of an overdose, medical assistance should be sought immediately.


1. How much magnesium citrate is safe to take?

The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is 420 mg per day for adult men, 320 mg per day for adult women, and 360 mg per day for pregnant women. It is safe to take 250 mg/day of magnesium citrate as a supplement.

2. Can magnesium citrate help you lose weight?

Magnesium is helpful for controlling blood insulin and sugar levels, especially in those who are obese. This usually helps in losing some weight as well because the insulin hormone triggers weight gain. Magnesium also helps with water retention and bloating, potentially leading to some water weight loss.

3. Is magnesium citrate good for bones?

Magnesium citrate helps regulate muscle function, which contributes to maintaining strong and healthy bones. It also plays a role in the transport of calcium across the body’s cell membranes, promoting healthy bones and helping prevent osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women.

4. How does magnesium citrate help your body?

Magnesium aids in the contraction of muscles, conduction of nerve impulses, and maintaining a normal heart rhythm. It also plays a crucial role in the transport of minerals like calcium and potassium and acts as a natural laxative by drawing water into stools, facilitating easier bowel movements.

5. Is magnesium citrate a blood thinner?

Yes, magnesium citrate is a mild blood thinner, slowing blood clotting. Individuals with clotting disorders should avoid it to prevent complications such as excessive bleeding and bruising.

6. When to take Magnesium citrate?

Magnesium citrate should be used as directed on the label or as recommended by a doctor. It is typically taken on an empty stomach, at least an hour before or two hours after a meal, with a full glass of water regularly at the same time(s) each day for maximum benefit.

These FAQs provide valuable information about the usage and effects of magnesium citrate, addressing common concerns and considerations related to its consumption.

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