How is hypomagnesemia treated with oral replacement?

Updated: Oct 30, 2020
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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For these reasons, oral replacement should be given in the asymptomatic patient, preferably with a sustained-release preparation, given the ability of magnesium to induce diarrhea. Bioavailability of oral preparations is assumed to be 33% in the absence of intestinal malabsorption. Several preparations are available: Mag-Ox 400, containing magnesium oxide; Slow-Mag, containing magnesium chloride; and Mag-Tab, containing magnesium lactate. These preparations provide 5-7 mEq (2.5-3.5 mmol or 60-84 mg) of magnesium per tablet. Six to 8 tablets should be taken daily in divided doses for severe magnesium depletion. Two to 4 tablets may be sufficient for mild, asymptomatic disease. Mag-Ox 400 contains 242 mg (20 mEq) of elemental magnesium, but absorption is less efficacious.

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