1 What is Epsal?

Brand: Epsal, Epsom Salt, Rite Aid First Aid Epsom Salt

Generic: Magnesium sulfate

Epsal is an inorganic used for short-term relief of constipation, and relief minor sprains, bruises, muscle aches or discomfort, joint stiffness or soreness, and tired feet when used as a soaking solution. This medicine is a laxative and soaking solution.

This drug does not require a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Epsal, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Studies have not reported any pediatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of magnesium sulfate to relieve constipation in children 6 years of age or older while the safety and efficacy of this drug have not been established in children younger than 6 years of age.  

Also, pediatric-specific problems have not been encountered when using this drug as a soaking solution in children.

Data are still unavailable on the relationship of age to the effects of magnesium sulfate in geriatric patients.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or non-prescription drugs.

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with magnesium is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects.

Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as kidney disease.

3 Proper Usage

Epsal must be used exactly as directed by your healthcare professional. To prevent any side effects, take this drug exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional.

Dissolve the powder in 8 ounces of water if you are going to use this drug as a laxative. To improve the taste, you can add lemon juice to the mixture.

Drink the mixture at least 2 hours before or after other medicines. Dissolve the powder in warm water for use as a compress, soaking solution, or bath.

Apply with a bandage or towel for 30 minutes up to 3 times per day if you intend to use this drug as a compress. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients.

The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.

Adults and children 12 years of age and older with constipation are given 2 to 6 level teaspoons per day as a single dose or in 2 divided doses.

If the dose is divided, separate the doses by at least 4 hours. Taking more than 2 doses per day is not recommended.

Children 6 to 11 years of age with constipation are given 1 to 2 level teaspoons per day as a single dose or in 2 divided doses. If the dose is divided, separate the doses by at least 4 hours.

Taking more than 2 doses per day is not recommended. Use in children younger than 6 years of age is not recommended.

Adults with minor sprains, bruises, muscle or joint discomfort, tired feet are prescribed to use 2 cups dissolved in one gallon of warm water.

Use and dose in children must be determined by your doctor. Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Epsal, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Consult with your healthcare professional if your symptoms do not improve or it they worsen within a few days.

Consult with your healthcare professional before using this drug if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you noticed a sudden change in bowel habits that continued for more than 2 weeks if you have stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.

If you are on a magnesium-restricted diet, or if you have already used a laxative for longer than a week.

If you have rectal bleeding or do not have a bowel movement after use, contact your healthcare professional immediately.

This is contraindicated for use as a soaking solution if you are pregnant or have diabetes. Seek advice from your healthcare professional if you have a skin irritation or infection.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Epsal.

Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness, fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, skin infection after soaking, or sleepiness.

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear.

Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional.

Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.