To use magnesium citrate for bowel colonoscopy preparation, follow the directions on the package or given by the physician, notes WebMD. Proper dosage varies according to a number of factors, including medical condition, age and response to treatment. The doctor explains when and how to use the magnesium citrate.
Magnesium citrate may be given alongside other products. To prevent dehydration and other serious side effects, drink 8 ounces of water after taking the magnesium citrate product, recommends WebMD. To make it more palatable, chill the magnesium citrate in a refrigerator before taking it, but do not freeze it. Do not take tetracycline or quinolone antibiotics such as doxycycline or ciprofloxacin within two hours of taking magnesium citrate, as the magnesium citrate may cause the antibiotics to work poorly.
Using magnesium citrate too often may cause laxative dependence, which means bowel movements cannot occur without the use of the product, states WebMD. Symptoms of excessive use include diarrhea, weakness, decreased weight and abdominal pain. If laxative dependence is a concern, or if the magnesium citrate does not induce a bowel movement, contact a physician immediately. A bowel movement typically occurs within 30 minutes to three hours after taking the magnesium citrate.