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I was watching a programme the other day on ITV where they follow the emergency services. On 1 particular show they where in an A&E dept. An asthmatic patient came in with a life threatening attack. They began to get that under control and then decided to give the guy some magnesium cus it helps asthmatics with life threatening attacks (so they said on the programme).

How does magnesium help?

I've never had a life threatening attack so have never come across it before.


6 Replies


i ofte ahve magnesium when im in hospital either in a and e or the ward. not sure how it helps biut it def does.



I have iv magnesium in a&e a lot and as far as i know it is a muscle relaxant so helps the muscles in the chest relax hence lessening the spasms allowing air to pass in and out of the airways more easily.

Im not a doctor but im sure the docs on here will be able to tell you in more detail than i can


I Have often had IV magnesium - it acts on the smooth muscles to relax them in a similar way to bronchodilators but I don't think even the doctors quite understand how it works. It is fast acting which is essential in a severe attack but the effects don't last long but it gives time to get other meds sorted if needed.

I think it is also used for prem labour! Stops the uterus contracting.

Great stuff!



I know I have a one track mind - horses! but....I feed a magnesium supplement to one of our ponies - it is a calmer - I think it is an over all relaxant


I've had magnesium a lot in a & e, but have never found it to make a dramatic difference.........Although, having said that, it's probably difficult to tell when you are getting so many different drugs and treatments at once.

As far as I know, the medics don't yet understand the actual mechanism of magnesium for the treatment of severe asthma, just that it seems to help some.




i have had magnesium loads in A&E, i once asked when i got up to the ward why they give it, i was told that asthmatics tend to have lower levels of magnesium so the infusion is thought to help.


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