Magnesium sulphate is an inorganic salt (chemical compound) containingmagnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4.



Treating low magnesium levels and maintaining the proper amount of magnesium in the body when used as part of intravenous (IV) feedings (eg, total parenteral nutrition [TPN]). It is also used in pregnant women to control seizures due to certain complications of pregnancy (eg, severe toxemia) and to control high blood pressure, severe brain function problems (encephalopathy), and seizures in children who have sudden, severe inflammation of the kidneys (acute nephritis). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Magnesium sulfate is a mineral. It works by replacing magnesium in patients who have low magnesium levels in the body due to illness or treatment with certain medicines. Magnesium sulfate may also be used to treat seizures by decreasing certain nerve impulses to muscles.


Magnesium sulfate is a common mineral pharmaceutical preparation of magnesium, commonly known as Epsom salt, used both externally and internally. Epsom salt is used as bath salts and for isolation tanks. Oral magnesium sulfate is commonly used as a saline laxative or osmotic purgative. Magnesium sulfate is the main preparation of intravenous magnesium.

Internal uses include:

  • Replacement therapy for hypomagnesemia
  • Magnesium sulfate is the first-line antiarrhythmic agent for torsades de pointes in cardiac arrest under the 2005 ECC guidelines and for managingquinidine-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 asthmaattacks.
  • Magnesium sulfate is effective in decreasing the risk that pre-eclampsiaprogresses to eclampsia. IV magnesium sulfate is used to prevent and treat seizures of eclampsia. It is also commonly used for eclampsia where compared to diazepam or phenytoin it results in better outcomes.
  • In those who are at risk of a preterm birth. A systematic review suggested that intravenous magnesium sulfate before birth could reduce the risk of cerebral palsy and motor dysfunction in preterm infants by 30%.
  • Magnesium sulfate has been used as an experimental treatment of Irukandji syndrome caused by envenomation by certain species of Irukandji jellyfish, but the efficacy of this treatment remains unproven.
  • Solutions of sulfate salts such as Epsom salt may be given as first aid for barium chloride poisoning


Magnesium sulfate was once used as a tocolytic, but meta-analyses have failed to support it as an anti-contraction medication. And its use for prolonged periods (more than five to seven days) may result in health problems for the baby.

In those at risk of an early delivery, magnesium sulfate appears to decrease the risk of cerebral palsy. It is unclear if it helps those who are born at term.


None are recorded. Please consult with a specialist.

Other names

Magnesium sulphate, Epsom salt (heptahydrate), English salt, Bitter salts, Bath salts




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