FDA Issued a Magnesium Citrate Recall — Find Out Why

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May 22 2023, Published 1:05 p.m. ET

Let's face it: no one enjoys getting a colonoscopy. And while the procedure itself is dreaded — luckily, you're put to sleep for it — most people will agree that the prep is the worst part. Aside from tasting terrible, the product your doctor prescribes you to drink to clear out your intestines before a procedure just makes you feel icky!

The active ingredient in a colonoscopy prep kit is magnesium citrate, which is used to cleanse the colon.

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Magensium citrate is also used in smaller doses in over-the-counter medications, like stool softeners and laxatives sold at your local drugstore or grocery store, to help assist with constipation.

In July 2022, the FDA issued a voluntary recall of magnesium citrate products. Let's find out why.

What was the magnesium citrate recall?

In 2022, a laxative sold at major retailers across the U.S. issued a voluntary recall of magnesium citrate due to a microbial contamination that was causing adverse reactions in consumers. The recall was initiated after Vi-Jon, LLCs third party microbial testing company identified the presence of a bacterium that infects plants.

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Immunocompromised individuals who consumed the products had an increased risk of acquiring invasive infections caused by Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens, as well as other serious, life threatening adverse health complications.

The mag citrate recall impacted flavors of the oral solution including cherry, grape, and lemon. The product, which is packaged in a 10-ounce plastic bottle, was distributed nationwide to wholesale and retailers including CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Kroger, and Target.

Here's what to do if you have the mag citrate recall product at home.

Worried you may have magnesium citrate at home? The first thing you should do is check your medicine cabinet or wherever else you store your medications to see if you have any of the recalled products. If you discover you have any of these products, it's advised you stop using them immediately and return any of the unused products to the store or throw it in the trash.

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If you've had any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product, contact your doctor. You should also report any adverse reactions or quality problems to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program either online, by mail or by fax.

If you have questions regarding the mag citrate recall, contact Vi-Jon, LLC by email at Recalls@Vijon.com.

How should magnesium citrate be used?

Magnesium citrate is sold as either a powder or liquid and it's usually taken as a single daily dose or to divide the dose. You should not take magnesium citrate for more than one week, unless your doctor tells you to do so.

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Taking the magnesium citrate usually causes a bowel movement within 30 minutes to six hours after taking it. Mag citrate is also used to empty the colon before a colonoscopy or before a medical procedure.

This article is not to be construed as medical advice, so before trying magnesium citrate, make sure to consult with your doctor.

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