Magnesium is safe for almost all adults who consume the mineral orally.

The most common complaint from magnesium supplement users is that the mineral can cause digestive and bowel disruption. However, taking the supplement with a meal can reduce these effects.

An allergic reaction to magnesium is extremely rare. However, seek immediate medical attention should you notice any symptoms including rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, and respiratory issues.

Which magnesium compound has the least amount of side effects?

Magnesium glycinate is considered the most effective form of magnesium. Different from other forms of magnesium, glycinate compounds have less aggressive laxative effects on the digestive system, reducing uncomfortable and unwanted bowel issues.

Magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, and magnesium malate, as well as other compounds, provide many of the same benefits of magnesium glycinate, but unfortunately, can have severe loosening stool effects on the body.

Should I take magnesium?

Many people can supplement magnesium without any concern for overdosage or reaction; however, you should always consult your doctor before taking any new medications or supplements.


Oral magnesium poisoning is extremely rare in adults, especially for those with normal renal function. However, magnesium supplements should not be given to children, unless prescribed by a registered physician.

Symptoms of a magnesium overdose can include:

  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Low temperature
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

If you are concerned that you have consumed too much magnesium, contact your doctor or local poison control centre. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Who’s At Risk?

While magnesium overdoses are rare, those with specific health issues may be at higher risk to experience concerning side effects. These include those who have experienced or are currently battling:

  • Kidney problems
  • Renal issues
  • Dialysis
  • Chronic constipation

Children and the elderly are also at a higher risk for overdosing and should only take magnesium if suggested by their family doctor.

Usage During Pregnancy

Consult your doctor before taking magnesium supplements during pregnancy and post-pregnancy while breast-feeding.