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Calcium Gluconate

Generic Name: calcium gluconate (KAL see um GLUE koe nate)

Medically reviewed on February 6, 2018.

What is calcium gluconate?

Calcium is a mineral that is found naturally in foods. Calcium is necessary for many normal functions of the body, especially bone formation and maintenance.

Calcium gluconate is used to prevent or to treat calcium deficiencies.

Calcium gluconate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not take calcium gluconate or antacids that contain calcium without first asking your doctor if you also take other medicines. Calcium can make it harder for your body to absorb certain medicines. Calcium gluconate works best if you take it with food.

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • kidney stones;

  • cancer;

  • a parathyroid gland disorder; or

  • high levels of calcium in your blood.

Ask a doctor before using calcium gluconate if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.

How should I take calcium gluconate?

Use calcium gluconate exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Check the label of your calcium gluconate product to see if it should be taken with or without food.

Calcium gluconate may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes dietary changes. Learn about the foods that contain calcium.

Your calcium gluconate dose may need to be adjusted as you make changes to your diet. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking calcium gluconate?

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Calcium gluconate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to calcium gluconate: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • little or no urinating;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or

  • high levels of calcium in your blood - nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, confusion, lack of energy, or feeling tired.

Common calcium gluconate side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Calcium gluconate dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypocalcemia:

Intravenous:

500 to 2000 mg (5 to 20 mL) IV one time at a rate not to exceed 0.5 to 2 mL/min. The dose may be increased as needed. The usual daily dosage ranges from 1000 to 15,000 mg (10 to 150 mL) in divided doses or as a continuous infusion. Doses may be repeated every 1 to 3 days as needed and tolerated to normalize the serum calcium level.

Oral:

500 to 2000 mg orally 2 to 4 times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Hypermagnesemia:

1000 to 2000 mg (10 to 20 mL) IV one time at a rate not to exceed 0.5 to 2 mL/min. This dose may be repeated as necessary in severe cases of hypermagnesemia (where discontinuation of exogenous magnesium is inadequate) to temporarily reverse many of the toxic effects of magnesium in the central nervous system.

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperkalemia:

500 to 3000 mg (5 to 30 mL) IV one time at a rate not to exceed 0.5 to 2 mL/min. This dose may be repeated as necessary in cases of extreme hyperkalemia cardiotoxicity when P waves are absent, the QRS complexes are widened, and when continuous ECG monitoring is available. The use of calcium does not reduce the serum potassium level, but counteracts the effects of hyperkalemia on cardiac excitability.

Usual Adult Dose for Exchange Transfusion:

300 mg (3 mL) IV one time with each 100 mL of citrated blood at a rate not to exceed 0.5 to 2 mL/min.

Usual Adult Dose for Osteoporosis:

1000 to 1500 mg/day orally in divided doses.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hypocalcemia:

Neonatal:
Recommended daily allowance (RDA): (Dosage is in terms of elemental calcium):
Oral: 400 mg/day
Daily maintenance calcium:
IV: 3 to 4 mEq/kg/day
Cardiac arrest in the presence of hyperkalemia or hypocalcemia, magnesium toxicity, or calcium antagonist toxicity: Dosage expressed in mg of calcium gluconate: IV or intraosseous IO:
60 to 100 mg/kg/dose; may repeat in 10 minutes if necessary. If effective, consider IV infusion.
Hypocalcemia (dose depends on clinical condition and serum calcium level):
IV: (Dose expressed in mg of calcium gluconate):
200 to 800 mg/kg/day as a continuous infusion or in 4 divided doses
Oral: (Dosage expressed in mg of elemental calcium):
50 to 150 mg/kg/day in 4 to 6 divided doses
Do not exceed 1 g/day
Dose expressed in mg of calcium gluconate:
500 to 1500 mg/kg/day in 4 to 6 divided doses
Hypocalcemia secondary to citrated blood infusion:
IV:
Give 0.45 mEq elemental calcium for each 100 mL citrated blood infused
Tetany: (Dose expressed in mg of calcium gluconate):
IV: 100 to 200 mg/kg/dose over 5 to 10 minutes; may repeat after 6 hours or follow with an infusion with a maximum dose of 500 mg/kg/day

Dosing: Usual
Adequate intake (AI): (Dosage is in terms of elemental calcium):
Oral:
1 to 6 months: 210 mg/day
7 to 12 months: 270 mg/day
1 to 3 years: 500 mg/day
4 to 8 years: 800 mg/day
9 to 18 years: 1300 mg/day

Recommended daily allowance (RDA): (Dosage is in terms of elemental calcium):
Oral:
1 to 6 months: 400 mg/day
6 to 12 months: 600 mg/day
1 to 10 years: 800 mg/day
11 to 24 years: 1200 mg/day

Hypocalcemia (dose depends on clinical condition and serum calcium level):
Oral: (Dose expressed in mg of elemental calcium):
Children: 45 to 65 mg/kg/day in 4 divided doses

Dose expressed in mg of calcium gluconate:
Infants and Children: 500 to 725 mg/kg/day in 3 to 4 divided doses

Hypocalcemia (dose depends on clinical condition and serum calcium level):
IV: (Dose expressed in mg of calcium gluconate):
Infants and Children: 200 to 500 mg/kg/day as a continuous infusion or in 4 divided doses

Cardiac arrest in the presence of hyperkalemia or hypocalcemia, magnesium toxicity, or calcium antagonist toxicity:
IV, IO: (Dosage expressed in mg of calcium gluconate):
Infants and Children: 60 to 100 mg/kg/dose (maximum: 3 g/dose); may repeat in 10 minutes if necessary; if effective, consider IV infusion.

Hypocalcemia secondary to citrated blood infusion:
IV: Give 0.45 mEq elemental calcium for each 100 mL citrated blood infused

Tetany:
IV: (Dose expressed in mg of calcium gluconate):
Infants and Children: 100 to 200 mg/kg/dose; over 5 to 10 minutes; may repeat after 6 hours or follow with an infusion with a maximum dose of 500 mg/kg/day.

Daily maintenance calcium:
IV:
Infants and Children 25 kg and less: 1 to 2 mEq/kg/day
Children 25 to 45 kg: 0.5 to 1.5 mEq/kg/day
Children greater than 45 kg: 0.2 to 0.3 mEq/kg/day or 10 to 20 mEq/day

What other drugs will affect calcium gluconate?

Calcium can make it harder for your body to absorb certain medicines. If you take other medications, take them at least 2 hours before or 4 or 6 hours after you take calcium gluconate.

Other drugs may interact with calcium gluconate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use calcium gluconate only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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