How Long Does It Take for Magnesium Citrate to Work

Magnesium citrate, also known as citroma magnesium sulfate, is generally used as a laxative to clear the intestines for bowel procedures or operations. But other than surgeries, it can also be used to relieve constipation. 

It is an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. If your doctor has prescribed it or you want to clear out your bowels, you might be wondering how long does it take for magnesium citrate to work? We’ll answer that here. 

Also, in this article, you will get to know about magnesium citrate, its uses, precautions, suggested doses, etc. 

What Is Magnesium Citrate?

Magnesium citrate increases water in the intestine through the osmosis process. It also enhances bowel movements, treating unhealthy bowel habits. 

Moreover, it serves as a laxative that can clear out the intestine if it is necessary before any medical procedure. Also, it can be found in both tablet and liquid form. 

If someone has constipation that is not chronic or lasts for too long, they can have it to clear their bowels. Remember, it is not a long-term solution but the perfect one if you want a quick solution. 

How Long Does It Take for Magnesium Citrate to Work?

A normal dosage of magnesium citrate will require anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to work. It will slowly seep into your blood, enhance bowel movement and increase fluid in your intestine. Then you can pass stools easily.

You should follow professional medical advice, whether from your doctor or at the pharmacy. 

What Are the Uses of Magnesium Citrate?

Let’s take a look at some of the specific uses of magnesium citrate:

  • Evacuating bowel
  • Treatment of occasional constipation
  • Irregularity in the bowel system
  • To cover up for low magnesium levels in the blood 
  • Treating acidity or acidic indigestion 
  • Certain medical procedures 
  • Treatment of irregular heartbeat by increasing palpitation 

Dosage of Magnesium Citrate

A healthcare professional can tell you the right amount to have, depending on your health requirement. The instructions on the bottle should be checked properly before taking any medicine. 

For occasional constipation, adults can have around 290gm with a full glass of water. While for acidic indigestion or use as a medical laxative, a higher dose might be recommended. You can take magnesium citrate regularly in recommended dosages.

Side Effects 

Like any other medicine, the usage of magnesium citrate comes with side effects. You should check them out below if you are going to take this supplement. 

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Imbalance of electrolytes
  • Weakness in muscle
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Rectal bleeding (reach out to healthcare professionals in case of this)
  • Dehydration (drink lots of water with it to prevent dehydration)

Although most unlikely, you might see allergic reactions like trouble breathing or other symptoms where magnesium citrate may be an underlying cause. Get checked immediately and follow your doctor’s direction. 

Using Magnesium Citrate for Constipation:  A Guide

Magnesium Citrate laxative

Depending on your bowel habits, if you want a quick solution to treat occasional constipation, you can use magnesium citrate right away. It is used as a temporary solution to constipation. Do check the recommended dosage in the medicine you buy. You can take this osmotic laxative in daily doses.

To take this medicine, you can take the oral solution mixture or tablets. Usually, for adults and children 12 years and above, the recommended dose is around 195 to 300 ml which can also be divided into multiple doses. 

For children younger than that, 90 to 210 ml can be taken. Make sure to take this drug with a full glass of water. 

Do remember that you cannot use this laxative as a permanent solution to treat constipation. If you are suffering from chronic constipation or experiencing long-lasting constipation, do visit a medical professional immediately. 

When Should You Avoid Taking Magnesium Citrate?

There are certain health conditions for which magnesium citrate is not a suitable medicine. In these cases, you should avoid it.

Magnesium citrate may react with other medications, especially some antibiotics you take and have harmful effects. Drug interactions should be monitored to prevent any harmful effects. 

You should consult with your healthcare professional in these cases before taking this laxative. Stop taking magnesium citrate if any of these applies. 

Some reasons you may have to avoid taking magnesium citrate:

  • If you are taking antibiotics like doxycycline, tetracycline, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, etc
  • Having any heart conditions
  • Low levels of calcium or sodium
  • Obstructions in the bowels, colon, or stomach
  • Any major kidney disease
  • High levels of potassium 
  • High levels magnesium
  • Chronic level constipation
  • Although rare, if you see any allergic reactions due to this drug


Storage conditions of medicines are often neglected, but that results in ruining the medicine and health hazards. Magnesium citrate can be kept at room temperature. Keep medicines out of children’s reach. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to take magnesium citrate daily?

Generally, taking magnesium citrate daily does not create any health risk. However, if used for passing stool easily every day, you might become dependent on it and neglects actual health issues.

Is magnesium citrate harmful to you?

Unless you have any relevant medical condition or take any specific medicine that interacts negatively with the drug, magnesium citrate does not create a health hazard.

Should you take magnesium citrate for constipation?

This drug is good for treating occasional constipation. Do not use it as a permanent solution, though.

Is citroma helping arterial stiffness?

Some peer-reviewed studies have found citroma magnesium citrate may not have any special effect on arterial stiffness but might help regulate blood pressure.

Does citroma cause dehydration?

Yes. This is one of the reasons you should take precautions before taking the laxative by making sure to drink enough water before and after.

Key Takeaways

Magnesium citrate is a great way to get relief from constipation. How long it takes for magnesium citrate to work will depend on the person, but most people should see results within 3 hours

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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