hydroxide gel (Gelusil) is available. The untoward effect of constipation that may occur
with the administration of aluminum compounds is generally offset by the laxative action
of the magnesium. Such a combined preparation is standard for the Army.
b. Administration. The drug is given orally in a usual dosage of 2 tablets or 5
to 15 ml. of the liquid preparation four times a day. Greater dosages are sometimes
prescribed. The tablets should be chewed thoroughly and the liquid suspension shaken
as was described for aluminum hydroxide gel.
c. Untoward Effects. Slight diarrhea may result due to local irritation of the
bowel by the magnesium salt. Since the drug is not absorbed, no systemic side effects
d. Cautions and Contraindications. The liquid preparation should not be
allowed to freeze, and the tablets are subject to deterioration as noted on the
e. Supply. This drug is supplied in both liquid and tablet form.
2-24. MILK OF MAGNESIA
Preparations containing magnesium hydroxide, such as milk of magnesia, are
fairly effective in reducing gastric acidity, but they may also cause diarrhea. For this
reason, magnesium hydroxide is often used also as a cathartic by increasing the
2-25. ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE AND MAGNESIUM HYDROXIDE
Aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide are both nonsystemic antacids.
They are included together in many familiar over-the-counter preparations (Maalox,
Mylanta, Aludrox, Bidrox, Wingel, Creamalin, and so forth). The constipating effect of
the aluminum hydroxide is counteracted by the laxative effect of the magnesium
2-26. CHOICE OF AN ANTACID
Since antacids are available without a prescription, many individuals develop
their own preference for a particular antacid. This choice is logically based on flavor,
texture, dosage form, and laxative or constipating effects. It is important to choose an
antacid that does not adversely affect the consistency or frequency of bowel
movements or to train the client to use more than one antacid as needed. The
precaution against systemic antacids, such as sodium bicarbonate, is also important.