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A 19-year-old female asked:

How long does milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) stay in your system ?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Depends: The elimination of this laxative depends on the rate of movement of bowel contents. Under usual circumstances most of it should be out of the GI tract in a couple of days, a week at the most. Unrelated to your question: Practice safe sex. Get HPV vaccine.

Similar questions

A 35-year-old member asked:

How long should I give milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) to work?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide): Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) usually takes effect (leads to a bowel movement ) in half an hour to six hours – but this is variable.
Casper, WY
A 22-year-old female asked:

How long does it take for milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) to work? I haven't gone in 4 days...

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Phillip Goebel
Emergency Medicine 17 years experience
A couple of hours: If it has not worked in a couple of hours you should either take another doe or switch to something like miralax (polyethylene glycol) in combination with enemas.
A 30-year-old member asked:

Is milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) habit forming?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Yash Khanna
Family Medicine 58 years experience
No it is not: No it is not habit forming but some people tend to use it over long period of time to help move bowels.
A 48-year-old member asked:

How fast milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) work?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Yash Khanna
Family Medicine 58 years experience
1/2 HOUR TO 6 HOURS: It may work as an antacid within 30 minutes and as a laxative it may take 6 hours to 12 hours.
Dr. Raymond Chow
Pharmacology 9 years experience
Check with the dosing on the product label, since generally lower doses are used for acid reduction (1-3 TEAspoons), and higher to move the bowels (1-3 TABLEspoons).
Nov 26, 2013
A 35-year-old member asked:

Can I use milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) daily?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tarek Naguib
Nephrology and Dialysis 41 years experience
Not for long term: Side effects include hypermagnesemia which could cause heart rhythm trouble. Hypermagnesemia occurs specially in persons with slow kidneys. Would suggest alternating it with other cathartics if you have constipation. Several options exist i.e. Senna preparations, plymerizedethylene glycol preparations called MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol) or its generic form, flaxseed oil, and prune juice. May check with pharmacist too.
Dr. Tarek Naguib
Nephrology and Dialysis 41 years experience
Provided original answer
Also, if you have long term constipation, you need to make sure a physician has cleared long term treatment i.e. cancer colon was excluded by a scope.
Jun 4, 2012

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Last updated Jun 9, 2021
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