How Is Magnesium Citrate Used in Bowel Prep?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 26, 2020 11:41:16 PM ET

Magnesium citrate has a laxative effect that causes diarrhea during bowel prep prior to surgical procedures such as a colonoscopy, according to Harvard Health Publications. The laxative is one of the parts of the preparation procedure that begins several days before surgery. The preferred method of preparation includes splitting the laxative dose, taking the first half the day before the procedure and the second half a few hours prior to it.