Is milk of magnesia safe during pregnancy?
Milk of magnesia (generic name magnesium hydroxide ) is an over-the-counter oral laxative, used for relieving constipation. It is usually safe to take during pregnancy , making it a common option for managing the hormonal change-related signs of constipation.
Milk of magnesia FDA Pregnancy Category
It has not yet been assigned to any pregnancy category by the FDA due to a lack of adequate research on human pregnancy . Studies done with other magnesium salts (including magnesium sulfate) and their effects on the fetus when taken in high doses in pregnancy have shown no negative result. Still, it is always recommended to take it only after consulting your physician and when its benefits outweigh any potential side effects.
How much milk of magnesia can you take in pregnancy?
The dosage is determined by the doctor after evaluating its necessity as well as any potential risks to the mother or the baby.
Possible risks of taking milk of magnesia while pregnant
Laxatives should be used with caution during both early and late pregnancy as they may lead to contraction-like stomach cramps. Due to this reason, stool softeners like Colace are more recommended for pregnant women. Laxatives like milk of magnesia may be prescribed safely by your doctor for a short duration of time  in case of severe constipation that is not responding to stool softeners and diet changes.
One small study, carried out with 27 subjects, showed no adverse effects in the fetus when the mother took magnesium hydroxide by mouth in the third trimester .
Milk of magnesia and breastfeeding
Little research has been done regarding whether the medication passes into breast milk. However, it is considered safe for nursing mothers  since oral administration of magnesium hydroxide causes only small amounts of magnesium to be absorbed in the system .
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