A close-up of a patient's hands holding a pamphlet, reading about alternative medications to magnesium citrate.

Magnesium Citrate Recall: Essential Safety and Health Tips

Introduction

The recent recall of magnesium citrate, a popular over-the-counter saline laxative, has raised many concerns. Used for a range of digestive issues, this recall impacts several flavors and brands, leading to questions about safety, alternatives, and the reasons behind the recall. This article delves into the details of the recall, its implications, and what you can do if you’re affected.

A bottle of lemon-flavored magnesium citrate with a prominent red "Recalled" label, symbolizing a health product recall on a white background.

The Recall Details

In 2022, the FDA issued a voluntary recall of magnesium citrate solutions due to an increased risk of infection, particularly in immunocompromised patients. This recall affects lemon, cherry, and grape flavors of the product​​. The recall was initiated by Vi-Jon, a key supplier, after discovering contamination with Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens in some lots of their products. This recall includes brands sold at major retailers like CVS, Target, and Walgreens​​​​.

Why Magnesium Citrate Is Used

Magnesium citrate is commonly used as a laxative for occasional constipation and as part of colonoscopy preparation. It works by drawing water into the intestines, which helps to move stool through the bowels. This makes it an effective, fast-acting option for relieving constipation and clearing the bowel before medical procedures.

Impact of the Recall

The recall has led to a shortage of magnesium citrate products, creating challenges for those who rely on this medication. People preparing for medical procedures like colonoscopies or those dealing with occasional constipation are particularly affected.

Alternatives to Magnesium Citrate

With the recall of magnesium citrate, it’s important to know the alternatives. For colonoscopy preparation, options include polyethylene glycol (PEG) preparations, oral sodium sulfate, and Osmoprep. For treating constipation, alternatives include magnesium hydroxide (found in Milk of Magnesia), polyethylene glycol, stimulant laxatives like bisacodyl and senna, and lactulose for prescription options​​.

Safety and Precautionary Measures

If you have recently purchased magnesium citrate, check the product details against the recall list. Discontinue use if it matches any recalled product and consult a healthcare provider for alternatives. It’s also advisable to report any adverse reactions to the FDA.

How to Identify Recalled Products

Recalled products can be identified by specific UPC and NDC numbers. Some of the brands affected include Best Choice, Care One, CVS, Equaline, Equate, and several others. Each brand has specific UPC and NDC codes, which you can check against your product​​.

Conclusion

The recall of magnesium citrate is a significant event, especially for those who depend on this medication. By staying informed and consulting healthcare professionals, you can safely navigate this recall and find suitable alternatives.

Sources

  1. “FDA Recalls Magnesium Citrate Used in Many Procedure Preps” – MNGI.
  2. “Drug Shortage Detail: Magnesium Citrate Oral Solution” – ASHP.
  3. “Magnesium Citrate Alternative Options” – HelloPharmacist.
  4. “CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Other Oral Magnesium Citrate Laxatives Recalled Due to Bacterial Contamination” – July 18, 2022 – ConsumerLab.com.

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