Working of Milk of Magnesia
When the suspension enters the stomach, it is part of any one of the following two outcomes:
- As an antacid, it triggers simple neutralization. The hydroxide ions combine with acidic ions to form hydrochloric acid and ultimately water.
- As a laxative, when milk of magnesia is introduced to the intestinal tract, it is not well absorbed. Through osmosis, it draws water from surrounding tissue, increasing water content in feces, as well as feces volume. This naturally stimulates intestinal motility.
Milk of Magnesia Side Effects
It is very important to indicate to the prescribing physician, any history of stomach related medical conditions, allergies and/or the intake of other medication. The use of Milk of Magnesia as a laxative to be avoided if there is:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- A sudden change in bowel habits, observed over a fortnight
- Rectal bleeding
- A history of kidney disease
- Potential reactions with antibiotics, especially in the case of a pregnant woman or a nursing mother
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe allergic reactions, such as hives, shortness of breath and itchiness
The intake of prescription or nonprescription medicine, dietary supplements and/or herbal preparation, food allergies, medication allergies, bowel surgery, and a history of appendicitis should be considered prior to administrating a dose or regular doses of Milk of Magnesia. The laxative is known to interact with anticoagulants like warfarin as well as azole antifungals like ketoconazole. It also reacts with bisphosphonates, cation exchange resins, cephalosporins, mycophenolate, quinolone, penicillamine, and antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and doxycycline. The Milk of Magnesia suspension should ideally be stored at 25 degrees C, and away from heat, moisture, and light. It should be kept away from the reach of children and pets.