You Shouldn't Take Magnesium If You're Taking This Medication

Magnesium is a critical mineral for a number of human functions, making it an important nutrient that we need plenty of. But should everyone take a magnesium supplement? Maybe not.

Every single organ in the body uses magnesium, from the heart to the muscles to the kidneys (via Mount Sinai). It helps regulate other nutrients and helps to produce energy. Magnesium is available in many foods, like leafy greens, beans, seeds, nuts, and whole grains (via National Institutes of Health). As a supplement, it's also widely available in a number of forms, such as magnesium oxide, citrate, and chloride, and the mineral is a main ingredient in some laxatives.

A 2009 review from the American Academy of Family Physicians asserts that up to 75% of Americans are not reaching the recommended daily intake of magnesium. While deficiency often presents itself without symptoms, this means that severe deficiency can pop up without much warning and may lead to muscle cramps, mental health disorders, and high blood pressure (via Healthline).

Should everyone take magnesium supplements?

However, simply supplementing diets with magnesium isn't recommended for everyone. It's possible to "overdose" on magnesium supplements, especially by those who already have kidney problems, as magnesium is expelled by the kidneys (via Mount Sinai).

And if you're taking certain prescription medications, it may provide unwanted interactions with the supplement. For example, some antibiotics, like Ciprofloxacin and Doxycycline, aren't absorbed properly when taken with magnesium, according to Mount Sinai. Take magnesium one to two hours before or after the antibiotic to prevent this. Side effects of blood pressure medication, such as dizziness and nausea, can increase when taking magnesium. A major interaction is with levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet), a drug used for treating Parkinson's disease, as magnesium can severely decrease the drug's effectiveness (via WebMD). Other moderate interactions exist, like with muscle relaxants, diuretics, anticoagulants, diabetes medications, antacids, and ketamine.

However, this is not an exhaustive list of potential adverse reactions to magnesium while taking medications. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before supplementing your diet with magnesium.