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magnesium citrate (citrate of magnesia, citroma)

available over the counter: yes

uses: to acutely treat short term constipation; provides for rapid emptying of the colon

mechanism of action: draws liquid into intestine, forming a softer mass; induces urge to defacate

side effects
• common:
cramping, diarrhea, gas, increased thirst
• less common: sweating, weakness
• serious: confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness, skin rash, difficulty swallowing

concerns: intended for short term use; overuse may cause laxative dependence; produces watery stools, therefore should not be taken when it will interfere with sleep or other activities; do not take within two hours of taking other medications; avoid alcohol

 

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