Magnesium Silicate (Talc)

What is Magnesium Silicate

Magnesium silicate, is a respiratory agent used for the treatment of recurrent malignant pleural effusions in symptomatic patients.

The composition of sterile talc products is >= 95% hydrated magnesium silicate. Associated naturally occurring minerals include chlorite (hydrated aluminum and magnesium silicate), dolomite (calcium and magnesium carbonate), calcite (calcium carbonate), and quartz.

Clinical trials have indicated that intrapleural administration of talc has a high success rate in treating malignant pleural effusions, relieving symptoms, and managing the pleural effusion.

Talc has been used since 1935 for pleurodesis; however, unsterilized talc, USP may contain bacteria or fungi; careful procedures must be followed for preparing and sterilizing before clinical use.

Also, the particle size of the talc appears to be important in producing clinical effect while limiting risk for systemic exposure; products containing talcs of various particle sizes are available around the globe.

Sclerosol was the first branded sterile talc product to be commercially produced and was approved by the FDA in December 1997. A non-aerosol sterile talc powder was FDA-approved on December 15, 2003.

Brand Name



  • pleural effusion

For the treatment of recurrent malignant pleural effusion in symptomatic patients

Side Effects

  1. acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  2. asystole
  3. bleeding
  4. bronchopleural fistula
  5. costovertebral pain
  6. dyspnea
  7. fever
  8. hemoptysis
  9. hypotension
  10. hypovolemia
  11. infection
  12. myocardial infarction
  13. pneumonitis
  14. pulmonary embolism
  15. sinus tachycardia

Monitoring Parameters

  • arterial blood gases (ABGs)
  • chest x-ray
  • pulmonary function tests (PFTs)


  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • infants
  • intravenous administration
  • neonates
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Talc, Magnesium Silicate products.


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