14 Drugs That Deplete Magnesium by Suzy Cohen

Suzy Cohen is known as "America's Most Trusted Pharmacist."  As a pharmacist for 22 years and a newspaper columnist with 20 million readers each week, she has devoted her life to helping all of us feel better.  She's been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, The View, Good Morning America, Mercola.com, The 700 Club, The Huffington Post, and much more.  She prides herself on "thinking outside the pill." 

Suzy gave us permission to reprint a section from her latest book, Drug Muggers: Which Medications Are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients--and Natural Ways to Restore Them.

What Drugs Deplete Your Body of Magnesium?

Acid Blockers

  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid and Pepcid Complete)
  • Nizatidine (Axid)
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec OTC)
  • Pantoprazole (Protonix)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Rabeprazole (Aciphex)


  • Aluminum and magnesium hydroxide (Maalox, Mylanta)
  • Aluminum carbonate gel (Basaljel)
  • Aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel, AlternaGEL)
  • Calcium carbonate (Tums, Titralac, Rolaids)
  • Magnesium hydroxide (Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia)
  • Sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer, baking soda)

Antibiotics (a few examples)

  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil)
  • Azithromycin (Z-Pak)
  • Cefaclor (Ceclor)
  • Cefdinir (Omnicef)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • Doxycycline (Doryx)
  • Erythromycin (E.E.S.)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Minocycline (Minocin)
  • Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra)
  • Tetracycline (Sumycin)

Antiviral Agents

  • Delavirdine (Rescriptor)
  • Foscarnet (Foscavir)
  • Lamivudine (Epivir)
  • Nevirapine (Viramune)
  • Zidovudine, AZT (Retrovir)
  • Zidovudine and Lamivudine (Combivir)

Blood Pressure Drugs

  • Hydralazine (Apresoline)

ACE inhibitors:

  • Enalapril and HCTZ (Vaseretic)

Angiotensin II receptor blockers:

  • Valsartan and HCTZ (Diovan HCT)

Diuretics, loop:

  • Bumetanide (Bumex)
  • Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Torsemide (Demadex)

Diuretics, thiazide (and any combination drug that contains HCTZ or hydrochlorothiazide—dozens of drugs contain this)

  • Candesartan and HCTZ (Atacand HCT)
  • Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • Chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
  • Hydrochlorothiazide or HCTZ (Hydrodiuril)
  • Methyclothiazide (Enduron)
  • Metolazone (Zaroxolyn)

Diuretics, potassium-sparing:

  • Possibly the potassium-sparing diuretics, however, this is not conclusive

Diuretics, sulfonamide:

  • Indapamide (Lozol)
  • Cardiac Glycoside
  • Digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin)

Central Nervous System (CNS) Stimulants

  • Methylphenidate (Metadate, Ritalin)

Cholesterol Agents

  • Cholestyramine (Questran)
  • Colestipol (Colestid)


  • Betamethasone (Diprolene, Luxiq)
  • Dexamethasone (Decadron)
  • Hydrocortisone (Cortef)
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
  • Mometasone (Elocon)
  • Prednisolone (Pediapred Liquid)
  • Prednisone (Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Sterapred)
  • Triamcinolone (Aristocort cream)

Inhaled corticosteroids:

  • Flunisolide (Nasarel, Nasalide)
  • Futicasone (Flonase)
  • Triamcinolone (Azmacort inhaler)

Hormone Replacement Therapy / Oral Contraceptives

  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
  • Estradiol (Activella, Climara, Combipatch, Estrace, Estraderm, Estring, EstroGel, Femring, Menostar, and many others)
  • Estrogen-containing drugs (hormone replacement therapy and birth control)
  • Estrogens, conjugated (Premphase, Prempro)
  • Estrogens, esterified (Estratab)
  • Estropipate (Ogen)
  • Ethinyl estradiol (found in many birth control pills)
  • Levonorgstrel (found in many birth control pills)


  • Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral)
  • Tacrolimus (Prograf)

Nonsteroidal Aromatase Inhibitors

  • Anastrozole (Arimidex)


  • Raloxifene (Evista)

SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)

  • Raloxifene (Evista)
  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)
  • Toremifene (Fareston)


  • Sulfa antibiotics, some diabetic medications


  • Alcohol
  • Calcium supplementation (prolonged or in excess)
  • Coffee
  • Estrogen dominance
  • High cortisol levels
  • High-sugar diet (glucose, fructose, sucrose)
  • Malabsorption of any sort (celiac or Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, crash dieting, anorexia)
  • Mineral oil

For general drug mugging replenishment, I usually just say 300 - 400 mg once or twice daily.  

Tests used to determine mag levels are either RBC mag levels (blood draw) or something like a NutrEval by Genova, or Spectracell analysis or Metametrix (your practitioners will know what this is).

With your product [Jigsaw Magnesium w/SRT], since it has malic acid, it is great for people with muscle pain too, and I like the dose of 2 tabs twice a day.  But with MD approval, I think you could even higher.  The only problem with too much mag is that it tilts the sister minerals out of balance, and after chronic ingestion of high mag dosing, you could see a relative deficiency in other minerals like calcium, zinc, etc.

With cheap brands, you see diarrhea as you know.

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