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Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Apr;33(4):400-5.

Effect of magnesium hydroxide administration on iron absorption after a supratherapeutic dose of ferrous sulfate in human volunteers: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of Medical Toxicology, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.



Animal models have demonstrated that administration of magnesium hydroxide (MgOH) decreases serum iron levels after an iron overdose. We designed this study to determine the effect of MgOH administration on iron absorption and adverse effects after a supratherapeutic dose of ferrous sulfate in healthy male volunteers.


We conducted a prospective, unblinded, randomized trial involving 16 healthy, fasting men. All subjects ingested a 10-mg/kg dose of elemental iron in the form of ferrous sulfate. One-half hour after the iron dose, the 8 subjects in the experimental group were given 5 mg of MgOH for every 1 mg of ingested elemental iron. Serum iron levels were obtained at baseline and at each subsequent hour for 6 or 7 hours. Serum magnesium levels were obtained at baseline, after 3 hours, and after 6 hours. Side effects were recorded hourly. Serum iron levels between groups were compared by repeated-measures ANOVA and ANCOVA. The 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the difference in serum iron levels between groups at each time point and for the difference in peak serum iron level between groups were calculated.


Baseline mean serum iron levels did not differ between the 2 groups (P =.28). There were no statistical differences between groups (P =.20). Mean serum iron levels at each time point and peak serum iron levels did not differ significantly between groups. The mean peak serum iron level was 300.8 micrograms/dL in the control group and 272.5 micrograms/dL in the experimental group.


Administration of MgOH does not affect iron absorption in humans after a supratherapeutic dose of iron when the ratio of MgOH to elemental iron is 5:1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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