QUESTION & ANSWER
Q: How does milk of magnesia work?

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A:

Milk of magnesia is an over-the-counter laxative that is used for short-term constipation relief. This magnesium-based compound is a saline osmotic that draws water into the bowels and triggers bowel movements. Doctors advise against using milk of magnesia for long-term constipation relief because it can cause an imbalance in your body chemistry. 

Milk of magnesia ingredients:

  • Magnesium hydroxide

  • Sulfate

  • Citrate

  • Phosphate

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Over-the-counter laxatives for constipation: Use with caution. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/in-depth/laxatives/art-20045906
  2. Don't bomb the bowel with laxatives. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/dont-bomb-the-bowel-with-laxatives