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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Epsom Salt

Generic Name: magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) (Pronunciation: mag NEE see um SUL fate)

What is magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt)?

Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral that is important for many systems in the body especially the muscles and nerves. Magnesium sulfate also increases water in the intestines.

Magnesium sulfate is used as a laxative to relieve occasional constipation.

Not all external uses for magnesium sulfate have been approved by the FDA. Epsom salt should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Magnesium sulfate may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Less serious side effects may include diarrhea or upset stomach.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt)?

Do not use magnesium sulfate as a laxative without medical advice if you have: severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, a perforated bowel, a bowel obstruction, severe constipation, colitis, toxic megacolon, or a sudden change in bowel habits that has lasted 2 weeks or longer.

Not all uses for magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) have been approved by the FDA. Epsom salt should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using this medication if you have diabetes, kidney disease, or other medical conditions. You may not be able to use magnesium sulfate.

Never use a higher dose of magnesium sulfate than recommended on the package label, or as your doctor has directed. Using too much magnesium sulfate can cause serious, life-threatening side effects.

If you have rectal bleeding or if you do not have a bowel movement after using magnesium sulfate as a laxative, stop using the medication and call your doctor at once. These may be signs of a more serious condition.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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