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The alkaline earth metals or Group 2A elements consist of beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium. Their pharmaceutical importance is listed:
Beryllium: used in x-ray tubes, since it allow more x-rays to pass through than glass.
Magnesium: Magnesium sulfate (or Epsom Salts) has been used for treating eclampsia (a condition that causes seizures in pregnant women), is a powerful laxative and is also used for removing the toxicity of barium from the body. It has a critical role in chlorophyll and is used in fertilizers. Magnesium ions aid digestive process and are available as nutritional supplements.
Calcium: is used in manufacturing of toothpaste, antacid, chewing gum and vitamins. It is an important component of bones, teeth, etc. and is recommended for prevention of osteoporosis.
Strontium: is used in the study of neurotransmitters release in neutrons.
Barium: used in enemas. Barium sulfate is used to coat the inner lining of the intestines thus allowing easier examination of digestive system.
Radium: earlier used to be used in drinking water and toothpaste, but is no longer used due to radioactivity concerns.
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