Asthma UK community forum

Magnesium Nebs

evening all!

hope everyone is ok, going through bit of a rough patch, well most of life is a rough patch but hey! lol hope someone can help!

i am a T2 brittle and have very regular (about 4-5 times a week) acute attacks needing oxygen and multiple nebs to get my lungs to behave themsleves. this means i use a hell of a lot of salbutamol and atrovent nebs and i am finding that they are starting to lost there effectivness!

so my question is, do people find magnesium nebs work? i have done a bit of reading around the subject and IV mag helps me massively and it is ready and waiting when i get t A+E and just wondered whether mag nebs might help at home!

got OP on tuesday so any info/ advice would be helpful!

lv and nebby steam

rob x x x x

6 Replies

Hello Rob

sorry to hear you having a rough time. Im also having not a great time with my lungs, and standard nebs at home dont always work. Ive had magnesium nebs a few times in hospital because my veins are so rubbish im very difficult to cannulate. It works just as well as iv mag but its not some thing that ive tried at home. The magnesium has to be drawn up and mixed with saline solution and 2.5 salbutamol. The concentration has to very precise to make it isotonic otherwise all horrible side effects can happen, problems with your heart and blood pressure. My eye sight isnt great and im never very with it when im wheezy so i dont think i would happy using it at home. Well unless they start making it in standard nebules.

It does work better than salbutamol and atrovent but it does make you feel very dizzy and grotty afterwards but at least you can breath. So its not something you can take and carry on with what you were doing. So i would suggest that you try it out in hospital first!

Hope this made some kind of sense? My lungs are suffering from my neighbors bonfires.

All the best and i hope you find something that works for you.




Has your consultant mentioned using magnesium nebs then? Its not something thats used lightly.Its experimental usage as a nebuliser.I did have them at home for a while and yes as sarah said it has to be drawn up correctly as theres a fine line before it becomes toxic.It also is more effective being driven by oxygen which I havnt got. Unfortuneatly(sp) my blood pressure drops rapidly like it does on iv but thats in hospital wheres theres somebody around.

I found that I had quite a few side effects but this should not put you off from asking your consultant.

Not wanting to put a damper on things

I hope you get the answers you want



Hi Rob,

There are trials going on currently looking at the effectiveness of magnesium nebs, but there is no published evidence as far as I am aware, and, as others have highlighted, there are potential problems with the accuracy of drawing it up at the correct dose and the side effects of administration. Certainly, if it were me, I would not feel happy that I would be able to draw it up accurately enough in the middle of an acute attack.

If the trials prove positive, one of the drug companies will hopefully produce a pre-mixed neb or at least a formulation where it is easier to draw it up accurately. Until then, it probably isn't a realistic proposition for most of us - I would imagine that by the time most of us become so unwell that salbutamol and ipratropium nebs are not working at all, we would be too unwell to draw it up safely.

I would suggest that you talk to your consultant, though; anything's worth a try!

Take care

Em H


hello all,

I've had these quite a few times now with good effect, both in hospital and at home - and yep - definately not easy to draw up when acutely unwell, given the precise amounts of mag, water for injection and salbutamol needed.

Have currently got the aseptic services dept of my hospital pharmacy doing some research into the shelflife of the mix if they were to aseptically draw it all up for me into a syringe etc. Will let you know as and when i get any answers!



Magnesium nebs

have just come across this about nebulised Magnesium Sulphate for acute asthma exacerbation (from the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in York): .

The authors of the review conclude:

""...This review concluded that there was insufficient evidence to determine the role of nebulised magnesium sulphate in the treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma. The review had methodological limitations (limited search and no validity assessment) and only six small studies were included. However, the authors' cautious conclusions, and their recommendation for further research, appear appropriate.


I have been involved in proof reading a major project relating to magnesium as either iv or nebs usrd in combination with other meds.

I know this research has been validated by the relevant authorities and from what i last was told it should commence fairly soon.

I personally have never had it neb form but i know that for me it is near enough a ""wonder drug"" as it seems to be one of the few meds that can actually help me to improve during a severe attack andi i have had it both as a bolus one off and an ongoing infusion


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