Calcium Gluconate is in a class of medications called Antidotes. Antidotes are used as a remedy to prevent something harmful.
Calcium gluconate is a medication that treats symptoms of low calcium in the body. It also serves as a calcium supplement. Other reasons for treatment with Calcium Gluconate are:
- High potassium levels in the blood.
- An overdose of magnesium sulfate (epsom salts).
- Sudden severe stomach pain.
- During heart resuscitation to strengthen the heart muscle.
This medicine works by increasing the level of calcium in the blood or by binding to excess potassium or magnesium in the blood. Calcium gluconate is available as tablets and can be injected into the vein. The injection is a prescription-only medicine but the tablet can be obtained over-the-counter.
The dose of Calcium Gluconate you will need and for how long depends on your medical condition and other factors, such as your weight. Sometimes only a single dose of Calcium Gluconate is required.
Calcium Gluconate comes in two forms:
- As a tablet or capsule available over-the-counter, to be taken orally with plenty of water.
- As an injection which is only available by prescription and needs to be injected by your healthcare provider. It can also be given by (continuous) infusion.
Calcium Gluconate is not suitable for patients whose heart muscles contract irregularly and rapidly (arrhythmias).
Tell your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Tingling sensations.
- A feeling of heat or heaviness over the body.
- A chalky taste in your mouth.
If any of the following happen tell your healthcare provider immediately or go to the emergency department at your nearest hospital:
- Dizziness or feeling faint.
- Irregular, fast or slow heart beats or chest pain.
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite.
- Constipation or abdominal pain.
- Sweating or hot flushes.
- Skin redness, pain or burning at the site of the injection.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Tiredness or weakness.
- Excessive thirst or need to urinate.
The above list includes very serious side-effects. These side-effects are very rare.
Calcium gluconate medicine may cause dizziness, light-headedness or weakness in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive, cycle, operate machinery or do anything else dangerous.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up from a chair, do so slowly. This will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. If this problem continues or gets worse, talk to your health care provider.
Before you take this drug, you should inform your healthcare provider if you have any conditions that may increase your risk of having side-effects or that make Calcium Gluconate unsafe for you.
- Let them know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Inform them if you have ever had high levels of calcium in your blood or have had heart problems.
- Inform your doctor if you have ever had kidney stones or kidney disease.