What is magnesium citrate made of

magnesiumDrug groupsMineralsMagnesium is an essential mineral with muscle relaxing, laxative and antiarrhythmic properties, which is effective as a cofactor for numerous enzymes. Magnesium is taken, among other things, for deficiencies, when there is an increased need and for calf cramps. There are also numerous other areas of application. Caution should be exercised when taking other drugs at the same time, as magnesium can reduce their absorption into the body. Possible adverse effects include loose stools and diarrhea.

synonymous: Mg


Magnesium is contained in numerous medicinal products and food supplements and is available in the form of tablets, effervescent tablets, chewable tablets, lozenges, capsules, direct granules, as a powder, injection solution and granules, among other things.

Structure and properties

Magnesium (Mg, atomic number: 12) is present in medicinal products in the form of various inorganic and organic salts, e.g. as magnesium chloride, magnesium gluconate, magnesium citrate, magnesium aspartate, magnesium glutamate, magnesium glycerophosphate and magnesium orotate.

The salts differ in terms of their solubility in water, bioavailability and the amount of elemental magnesium they contain. A distinction is also made between organic (with carbon) and inorganic magnesium (e.g. magnesium chloride). You can find detailed information on this under the article → Organic Magnesium.

Elemental magnesium is a shiny, gray and light solid with a high reactivity. For example, it reacts with oxygen, releasing valence electrons and is reduced in the process. The typical oxidation number is + II.

See also under redox reactions.

Magnesium shavings or powder are flammable and burn with a white flame. The powder can explode as dust. In the event of a fire, water should not be used, because magnesium reacts with water vapor to form hydrogen, which is also flammable (!):

Therefore, only dry sand or metal fire powder (extinguishing powder) is suitable for extinguishing. Magnesium is one of the precursors for explosives.


Magnesium (ATC A12CC) has, among other things, muscle-relaxing, laxative, partially vasodilating and antiarrhythmic properties. It is a cofactor of hundreds of enzymes, a physiological calcium antagonist and it reduces the release of acetylcholine in skeletal muscle.

In humans, magnesium is found primarily in bones, teeth, muscles and cells. It is involved in bone mineralization, muscle relaxation, energy production and signal transmission in the brain.

A clinically manifest magnesium deficiency can cause severe symptoms. These include muscle cramps, muscle twitching, cardiac arrhythmias, paralysis on one side, dizziness and delirium. Possible causes include excessive digestive and kidney excretion. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and diuretics can cause magnesium deficiency.

application areas

Possible areas of application include (selection):

  • Magnesium deficiency, insufficient intake, increased excretion
  • Increased need, e.g. sport, growth phase, pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Neuromuscular hyperexcitability, nocturnal calf cramps, muscle cramps, muscle twitching, restless legs syndrome
  • Tachycardia arrhythmia coronary artery disease, rigid neck
  • constipation
  • For the prophylaxis of tension headaches and migraines
  • As a labor suppressant during pregnancy, preeclampsia, eclampsia
  • Tetanic Syndrome
  • Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors

Elemental magnesium:

  • For chemical experiments in chemistry class.

According to the specialist information. The drugs are taken between one to four times a day, depending on the indication and dosage form. There are products that only need to be administered once a day. The daily requirement for adults is between 300 to 400 mg mg2+.


Magnesium is contraindicated in:

  • Hypersensitivity
  • Severe renal dysfunction, renal insufficiency with anuria and desiccosis
  • Disorders of the conduction of excitation in the heart (AV block)
  • Predisposition to urinary tract infections with the formation of magnesium-ammonium phosphate stones
  • Myasthenia gravis

The complete precautionary measures can be found in the product information sheet.


Magnesium can reduce the absorption and thus the bioavailability of other drugs. These include iron and tetracyclines. It should therefore not be given at the same time as these drugs.

unwanted effects

Among the possible undesirable effects, loose stools and diarrhea. These side effects can be reduced by reducing the dose.

see also

Magnesium deficiency, organic magnesium

  • Medicinal product information (CH, D)
  • Boyle N.B., Lawton C., Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 2017, 9 (5), E429 Pubmed
  • European Pharmacopoeia PhEur
  • Guerrera M.P., Volpe S.L., Mao J.J. Therapeutic uses of magnesium. Am Fam Physician, 2009, 80 (2), 157-62 Pubmed
  • Kass L., Weekes J., Carpenter L. Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr, 2012, 66 (4), 411-8 Pubmed
  • Chemistry textbooks
  • Makrides M., Crosby D.D., Bain E., Crowther C.A. Magnesium supplementation in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2014, CD000937 Pubmed
  • Martin K.J. et al. Clinical consequences and management of hypomagnesemia. J Am Soc Nephrol, 2009, 20 (11), 2291-5 Pubmed
  • Pham P.C. et al. Hypomagnesemia: a clinical perspective. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis, 2014, 7, 219-30 Pubmed
  • Swiss Nutrition Society (DACH reference values)
  • Safety data sheet
  • Teigen L., Boes C.J. An evidence-based review of oral magnesium supplementation in the preventive treatment of migraine. Cephalalgia, 2015, 35 (10), 912-22 Pubmed
  • William J.H., Danziger J. Proton-pump inhibitor-induced hypomagnesemia: Current research and proposed mechanisms. World J Nephrol, 2016, 5 (2), 152-7 Pubmed

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on April 3rd, 2020.
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