Magnesium sulfate, chemical formula MgO4S, and CAS No.7487-88-9, is an inorganic salt chemical compound containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite MgSO4·7H2O, commonly called Epsom salt.
The small colorless crystalline powder is used as an anticonvulsant, a cathartic, and an electrolyte replenisher in the treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. It causes direct inhibition of action potentials in myometrial muscle cells. Excitation and contraction are uncoupled, which decreases the frequency and force of contractions.
The monohydrate, MgSO4·H2O is found as the mineral kieserite. The overall global annual usage in the mid-1970s of the monohydrate was 2.3 million tons, of which the majority was used in agriculture.
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