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 medicines 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 your healthcare provider.

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

  • Give your child all medicines exactly as directed.

  • Learn to take your child’s pulse. Tell your healthcare provider if your child’s pulse rate is slower than 60 beats per minute.

Follow-up care

  • Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. 

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

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

When to call your healthcare provider

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

  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath

  • Irregular or slow heartbeat (pulse)

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Confusion or changes in behavior

  • Chest pain