Browse PDR's full list of drug information



Calcium Supplements
Mineral Binding Agents

Oral Administration Oral Solid Formulations

In general, administer with meals for improved absorption. Follow each dose with adequate fluids.
Because calcium-containing products may interfere with the absorption of other medicines, separate administration of calcium from other medications according to recommendations for the potentially interacting medication.

Oral Liquid Formulations

The parenteral formulation of calcium gluconate has been diluted in feedings for oral administration in neonates and infants.

Injectable Administration

Administer intravenously. Do NOT administer intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
Visually inspect parenteral products for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit.
Calcium gluconate 10% (100 mg/mL) contains approximately 9 mg/mL of elemental calcium.

Intravenous Administration

Intermittent IV Infusion
May dilute in compatible IV solution (i.e., 0.9% Sodium Chloride injection, 5% Dextrose injection, 10% Dextrose injection) to a usual concentration of 10 to 40 mg/mL.
A recommended concentration for peripheral lines is 3 mg/mL for neonates; however, concentrations as high as 100 mg/mL have been used for bolus doses. Observe the infusion line closely. Higher concentrations have been given via central lines.
Do not administer via scalp vein catheter.
Generally, infuse a bolus dose over 30 to 60 minutes. Calcium gluconate may be administered at a rate not exceeding 200 mg/minute.
IV Push
In general, inject IV 10% calcium gluconate products slowly, at a rate of 1.5 mL/minute (150 mg/minute) or less to avoid adverse reactions. The product labeling recommends an absolute maximum rate of 2 mL/minute (200 mg/minute); however, for life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, bolus doses are given over 2 to 5 minutes. Administer through a small needle into a large vein.

Other Injectable Administration

Intraosseous Route
Calcium gluconate is not approved by the FDA for intraosseous administration.
During cardiopulmonary resuscitation in pediatrics, calcium gluconate may be given via the intraosseous route when IV access is not available.

Adverse Reactions

tissue necrosis / Early / Incidence not known
AV block / Early / Incidence not known
coma / Early / Incidence not known
ventricular fibrillation / Early / Incidence not known
bradycardia / Rapid / Incidence not known
cardiac arrest / Early / Incidence not known
aluminum toxicity / Delayed / Incidence not known


hypotension / Rapid / Incidence not known
constipation / Delayed / Incidence not known
delirium / Early / Incidence not known
hypercalcemia / Delayed / Incidence not known
peripheral vasodilation / Rapid / Incidence not known
confusion / Early / Incidence not known
hypertension / Early / Incidence not known
premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) / Early / Incidence not known
nephrolithiasis / Delayed / Incidence not known


injection site reaction / Rapid / Incidence not known
vomiting / Early / Incidence not known
polyuria / Early / Incidence not known
syncope / Early / Incidence not known
flushing / Rapid / Incidence not known
anorexia / Delayed / Incidence not known
nausea / Early / Incidence not known
drowsiness / Early / Incidence not known
dizziness / Early / Incidence not known
paresthesias / Delayed / Incidence not known
dysgeusia / Early / Incidence not known

Common Brand Names

Calcitrate, Calphron, Eliphos, Oysco 500, PhosLo, Phoslyra

Dea Class



Calcium salt of gluconic acid; contains approximately 9% elemental calcium, which is about one-third of the calcium content in calcium chloride
Used intravenously for hypocalcemia or life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias associated with documented hypocalcemia, hyperkalemia, or hypermagnesemia
Preferred in the nonarrest setting for mild to moderate, asymptomatic hypocalcemia due to the lower potential for infusion site reactions compared with calcium chloride

Dosing Considerations
Hepatic Impairment

Specific guidelines for dosage adjustments in hepatic impairment are not available; it appears that no dosage adjustments are needed. Adjust dosage based on patient response and serum calcium concentrations.

Renal Impairment

Specific guidelines for dosage adjustments in renal impairment are not available; it appears that no dosage adjustments are needed. Adjust dosage based on patient response and serum calcium concentrations.

Drug Interactions

Monograph content under development

How Supplied

Calcitrate/Calcium/Calcium Acetate/Calcium Citrate/Calcium Gluconate/Calphron/Eliphos/Oysco 500/PhosLo Oral Tab: 84mg, 200mg, 500mg, 667mg, 668mg, 950mg
Calcium/Calcium Acetate/PhosLo Oral Cap: 667mg
Calcium/Calcium Chloride/Calcium Gluconate Intravenous Inj Sol: 1mL, 10%, 100mg
Calcium/Calcium Glubionate/Phoslyra Oral Sol: 1.8g, 5mL, 667mg

Maximum Dosage

Generally, 3 g IV as a single bolus dose.


Generally, 3 g IV as a single bolus dose.


Generally, 200 mg/kg/dose (Max: 3 g/dose) IV as a single bolus dose; 80 mg elemental calcium/kg/day PO for hypocalcemia.


Generally, 200 mg/kg/dose (Max: 3 g/dose) IV as a single bolus dose; 80 mg elemental calcium/kg/day PO for hypocalcemia.


Generally, 200 mg/kg/dose IV as a single bolus dose; 80 mg elemental calcium/kg/day PO for hypocalcemia.


Generally, 200 mg/kg/dose IV as a single bolus dose; 100 mg elemental calcium/kg/day PO for hypocalcemia.

Mechanism Of Action

Calcium is the primary component of skeletal tissue, providing structural integrity and support for individual growth. Bone undergoes constant remodeling and turnover. Mineral release during the process of bone resorption buffers hydrogen ions, whereas the formation of bone generates hydrogen ions. Thus, bone serves as a calcium depot and as a reservoir for electrolytes and buffers. Inhibition of bone resorption is primarily the function of the hormone, calcitonin. The control of plasma calcium concentration is primarily maintained by parathyroid hormone, thyroxine, and 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol. Ionized calcium is the physiologically active form. Basic metabolic functions involve the cardiac, neuromuscular, structural, and blood coagulation systems.


Calcium gluconate is administered orally, intravenously, or intraosseously†. Calcium is required by all body tissues. Approximately 98% of the body's calcium is stored in the bone, primarily as the hydroxyapatite. Constant bone remodeling and turnover of the skeleton release calcium into the systemic circulation which is then re-accumulated by the bone on a daily basis. Calcium is 40% bound to plasma proteins, primarily albumin, and 10% is in a chelated form. Approximately 50% of serum calcium is ionized, which is considered the physiologically active form. The ultrafiltratable calcium (nonprotein-bound) is distributed to the protein-poor regions of the body, such as the cerebrospinal and extracellular fluids. Calcium is primarily excreted in the feces and bile (80%). Urinary excretion accounts for the remainder (20%). However, approximately 99% of filtered calcium is reabsorbed by the kidney with less than 1% excreted. Parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol are primarily responsible for controlling calcium equilibrium. Insulin, thyroxine, growth hormone, androgens, estrogens, adrenal corticosteroids, and inorganic phosphate also contribute.
Affected cytochrome P450 isoenzymes: none

Pregnancy And Lactation

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with calcium gluconate. It is unknown if calcium gluconate can cause fetal harm when administered during pregnancy or can affect reproductive capacity. Calcium gluconate should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

There are no data available on the presence of calcium gluconate in human milk, the effect on the breastfed infant, or the effect on milk production. Consider the benefits of breast-feeding, the risk of infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated condition.