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magnesium sulfate (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt)?

Do not use magnesium sulfate as a laxative without medical advice if you have:

  • severe stomach pain;
  • nausea or vomiting;
  • a perforated bowel;
  • a bowel obstruction or severe constipation;
  • colitis or toxic megacolon; o
  • a sudden change in bowel habits lasting 2 weeks or longer.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have:

  • diabetes;
  • kidney disease;
  • an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia);
  • if you have already been using a laxative for longer than 1 week; or
  • if you on a low-magnesium diet.

It is not known whether magnesium sulfate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether magnesium sulfate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt)?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Magnesium sulfate may be used orally or as a soak. Follow your doctor's instructions or the directions on the package.

To take magnesium sulfate orally, dissolve one dose in 8 ounces of water. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. You may add a small amount of lemon juice to improve the taste of this mixture.

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.

Magnesium sulfate taken orally should produce a bowel movement within 30 minutes to 6 hours.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking magnesium sulfate.

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.

To use magnesium sulfate as an epsom salt soak, dissolve in a large amount of water in a large bowl, a bucket, a foot tub, or a bath tub. Follow the directions on the product label about how much epsom salt to use per gallon of water.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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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