Medical Grade Magnesium Sulfate

Medical Grade Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is a common mineral pharmaceutical preparation of magnesium, commonly known as Epsom salt, used both externally and internally.

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medical grade magnesium sulfate

It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.


Magnesium sulfate is a common mineral pharmaceutical preparation of magnesium, commonly known as Epsom salt, used both externally and internally. Magnesium sulfate is highly water-soluble and solubility is inhibited with lipids typically used in lotions. Lotions often employ the use of emulsions or suspensions to include both oil and water-soluble ingredients. Hence, magnesium sulfate in a lotion may not be as freely available to migrate to the skin nor to be absorbed through the skin, hence both studies may properly suggest absorption or lack thereof as a function of the carrier (in a water solution vs. in an oil emulsion/suspension). Temperature and concentration gradients may also be contributing factors to absorption.

Externally, magnesium sulfate paste is used to treat skin inflammations such as small boils or localised infections. Known in the UK as 'drawing paste' it is also used to remove splinters.The standard British Pharmacopoeia composition is dried Magnesium Sulfate 47.76 % w/w, Phenol 0.49 % w/w. and glycerol (E422).

Epsom salt is used as bath salts and for isolation tanks. Magnesium sulfate is the main preparation of intravenous magnesium.


Internal uses include:

·Oral magnesium sulfate is commonly used as a saline laxative or osmotic purgative.

·Replacement therapy for hypomagnesemia

·Magnesium sulfate is a antiarrhythmic agent for torsades de pointes in cardiac arrest under the ECC guidelines and for managing quinidine-induced arrhythmias.

·As a bronchodilator after beta-agonist and anticholinergic agents have been tried, e.g. in severe exacerbations of asthma, magnesium sulfate can be nebulized to reduce the symptoms of acute asthma. It is commonly administered via the intravenous route for the management of severe asthma attacks.

·Magnesium sulfate is effective in decreasing the risk that pre-eclampsia progresses to eclampsia. IV magnesium sulfate is used to prevent and treat seizures of eclampsia. It reduces the systolic blood pressure but doesn't alter the diastolic blood pressure, so the blood perfusion to the fetus isn't compromised. It is also commonly used for eclampsia where compared to diazepam or phenytoin it results in better outcomes.

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