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Calcium gluconate (minerals, electrolytes, antidote)

Uses|Precautions & warnings|Side effects|Interactions|Dosage

Calcium gluconate is a generic drug that contains the mineral calcium. Calcium is an essential cation or electrolyte. Electrolytes are different elements that carry a charge (electrons) and can be either positively charged (cations) or negatively charged (ions). Common examples of electrolytes include calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and phosphate.

Calcium is necessary for cellular functions such as muscle contractions and nerve impulses. Supplementary electrolytes are given to correct electrolyte imbalances due to various conditions, including dehydration, excessive vomiting or diarrhea, and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Uses

What is calcium gluconate used for?

  • Hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels)
  • Hypocalcemic tetany
  • Hypermagnesemia (high blood magnesium levels)

How should I take calcium gluconate?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

For oral dosage forms, swallow it whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it in liquid.

For parenteral dosage forms, only a licensed healthcare professional should administer it.

How do I store calcium gluconate?

Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using calcium gluconate?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it is likely safe to take. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

Side effects

What side effects can occur when using calcium gluconate?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Cardiovascular disorders
    • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
    • Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
    • Arrhythmia
    • Vasodilation
    • Flushing
    • Vasomotor collapse *potentially fatal
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Feeling warm or hot
  • Sweating
  • Injection site reactions
    • Redness
    • Abscess formation
    • Tissue induration
    • Tissue necrosis
    • Soft tissue calcification

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with calcium gluconate?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Cardiac glycosides (e.g. digoxin)
    • Increased risk of toxicity
  • Epinephrine
    • Increased risk of arrhythmia
  • Magnesium
    • Antagonistic effect on both drugs
  • Calcium channel blockers (e.g. verapamil, amlodipine)
    • Antagonistic effect against these drugs
  • Thiazide diuretics
    • Increased calcium levels

This drug is incompatible with the following:

  • Oxidizing agents
  • Citrates
  • Bicarbonates
  • Oxalates
  • Phosphates
  • Sulfates
  • Amphotericin
  • Cephazolin Na
  • Cephamandole nafate
  • Novobiocin Na
  • Dobutamine HCl
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Tetracyclines

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with calcium gluconate?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with calcium gluconate?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • History of calcium renal calculi (kidney stones)
  • Impaired renal function
  • Cardiac disease
  • Sarcoidosis

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

As an antidote for severe hypermagnesemia and to treat severe hyperkalemia

  • Administer 10 ml of 10% calcium gluconate solution over 2 minutes, repeated every 10 minutes if needed.

To treat hypocalcemic tetany and severe acute hypocalcemia

  • Administer 2.25 mmol by slow IV injection over 10 minutes, followed by 58-77 ml of 10% calcium gluconate solution in 0.5-1L of 5% dextrose solution as a continuous IV infusion.

What is the dose for a child?

As an antidote for severe hypermagnesemia and to treat severe hyperkalemia

  • Age 0 to 18 years: 0.5 ml/kg of 10% calcium gluconate solution as a single dose.
  • Maximum dose: 20 ml of 10% calcium gluconate solution.

To treat hypocalcemic tetany and severe acute hypocalcemia

  • Age 0 to 18 years: 0.5 ml/kg of 10% calcium gluconate solution as a single dose.
  • Maximum dose: 20 ml of 10% calcium gluconate solution.

How is calcium gluconate available?

This drug is available in the following brands, dosage forms, and strengths:

  • Calcinate solution for injection 100 mg/mL (10% w/v)
  • Phil Pharmawealth calcium gluconate solution for injection 100 mg/mL (10% w/v)
  • Euro-Med calcium gluconate 100 mg/mL (10% w/v)

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Calcium Gluconate https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/calcium%20gluconate?mtype=generic Accessed July 21, 2021

Calcium Gluconate https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557463/Accessed July 21, 2021

Calcium gluconate (oral/injection) https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d03800a1 Accessed July 21, 2021

Calcium gluconate prescribing information https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/208418s000lbl.pdf Accessed July 21, 2021

Calcium Gluconate. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed July 21, 2021. http://online.lexi.com


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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated 2 weeks ago
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