Compare Colace vs. Magnesium Citrate

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Softens your stools.

Colace (docusate) softens the stool, but may not stimulate a bowel movement as quickly as a laxative.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 125 reviewsforColace
Treats constipation.

Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) works well if you need to really get things moving, but it's not a good medicine to manage chronic constipation.

Upsides
  • Safer than laxatives.
  • Available over-the-counter.
  • Safe to use in children as young as 2 years old.
  • Really strong laxative that gets things moving fast.
  • Can also be used to prep your bowel before you go for surgery or colonoscopy. Your doctor will give you specific instructions if you use it this way.
Downsides
  • May take up to 5 days for the full effects to kick in.
  • Intended to be used only as a short-term solution for occasional constipation. Other options such as fiber supplements may be more useful for maintaining regular bowel movements.
  • It doesn't work for everyone and some people feel it's a hassle.
  • Some brands are of Magnesium Citrate are tinted red and can change the color of your stool.
  • Can cause dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Magnesium Citrate contains magnesium which prevents certain medicines from working properly. Make sure you take your dose of Magnesium Citrate at least 2 hours before or after other medicines.
  • You can't take it for more than a week or so.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Enema
  • Liquid
  • Liquid
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
125 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Colace (docusate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Complete or partial blockage of intestines
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Bowel blockage
    • Age 60 or older
    • Malignancy
    • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
    • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Electrolyte imbalance
    • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
    • Age 60 or older
  • Risk to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Worsening of neuromuscular conditions
    • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have kidney disease and neuromuscular disease
    • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have neuromuscular disease
  • High magnesium levels
    • Kidney disease
    • Taking other magnesium-containing medicines or supplements
See more detailed risks and warnings