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Discharge Instructions for Hypermagnesemia (Pediatric)

Your child has too much magnesium in his or her blood. This is called hypermagnesemia. This can happen if a person takes magnesium salts for kidney failure. It also can be caused by medications that contain magnesium, such as laxatives. Babies can be born with this problem if their mothers took too much magnesium while pregnant. In the hospital, treatments are given to lower blood magnesium levels. Here’s what you need to know to care for your child at home.

Diet Changes

Limit your child’s intake of all foods that have magnesium in them. These include the following:

  • Spinach

  • Nuts

  • Soy products

  • Whole grain cereals (bran flakes, shredded wheat, oatmeal)

  • Millet, wheat bran, wheat germ

  • Brown rice

  • Dried beans

  • Avocado

  • Dried apricots

Other Home Care

  • Don’t give your child antacids or laxatives unless told to by the doctor.

  • Don’t give your child an enema that has magnesium in it. If your child needs an enema, read the label carefully. Tell the doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbal drugs your child takes. Some of them can increase magnesium levels.

  • Give your child all medications exactly as directed.

  • Learn to take your child’s pulse. Tell the doctor if your child’s pulse rate is slower than 40 beats per minute.


  • Make a follow-up appointment. Our staff will help.

  • Have your child’s magnesium levels checked as directed.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments. The doctor needs to watch your child’s condition closely. This is very important if your child has another medical problem causing the hypermagnesemia.

Call the doctor right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath

  • Irregular or slow heartbeat or pulse

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Confusion or changes in behavior

  • Chest pain


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