Generic Name: 95mg/mL calcium gluconate; and 3.0 mg/mL calcium D-saccarate
Product Name: Calcium Gluconate Injection
Indication: What Calcium Gluconate Injection is used for
Calcium gluconate is a calcium salt used to treat or prevent a lack of calcium in the body. Other reasons for treatment with Calcium Gluconate Injection are:
- High potassium levels in the blood;
- An overdose of magnesium sulfate i.e. Epsom salts;
- Sudden severe stomach pain;
- During heart resuscitation to strengthen the heart muscle.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Action: How Calcium Gluconate Injection works
This medicine works by increasing the level of calcium in the blood or by binding to excess potassium or magnesium in the blood.
Calcium is essential for the maintenance of the functional integrity of the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems, and cell membrane and capillary permeability. This cation is an important activator in many enzymatic reactions and is essential to a number of physiologic processes including the transmission of nerve impulses; contraction of cardiac, smooth, and skeletal muscles; renal function; respiration; and blood coagulation. Calcium also plays a regulatory role in the release and storage of neurotransmitters and hormones, in the uptake and binding of amino acids, in cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) absorption and in gastrin secretion.
The calcium of bone is in a constant exchange with the calcium of plasma. Since the metabolic functions of calcium are essential for life, when there is a disturbance in the calcium balance because of dietary deficiency or other causes, the stores of calcium in bone may be depleted to fill the body’s more acute needs. Therefore, on a chronic basis, normal mineralisation of bone depends on adequate amounts of total body calcium.
Calcium Gluconate Injection contains 95mg/mL calcium gluconate and 3.0 mg/mL calcium D-saccharate in water for injections.
Calcium Gluconate Injection does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine, alcohol, dyes or any preservatives.
Dose advice: How to use Calcium Gluconate Injection
Before you are given Calcium Gluconate Injection
When you must not be given it
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if you have an allergy to:
- Any medicine containing calcium gluconate;
- Any of the ingredients listed here.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- Shortness of breath;
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing;
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body;
- Rash, itching or hives on the skin.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if the calcium levels in your blood or urine are above normal levels. Some conditions that may cause high levels of calcium are:
- Hyperparathyroidism, an overproduction of certain hormones;
- An overdose of vitamin D;
- Tumours of the bone or other tumours which raise levels of calcium in the blood.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if you have severe heart disease.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if you have severe kidney disease.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if you suffer from galactosaemia. This is a rare genetic disorder.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if you have been bedridden for a long time causing the loss of calcium from the bones.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if you are being treated with certain heart drugs such as digoxin and digitalis.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if the solution is discoloured, cloudy, turbid, or a precipitate is present. The solution is normally a clear, colourless liquid.
You should not be given Calcium Gluconate Injection if when diluted with another solution it causes the solution to precipitate, become cloudy, turbid, discolour, or particles are visible. The doctor or nurse will check to ensure the medicine is not past its expiry date and has not been tampered with.
If you are not sure whether you should be given this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes. Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- Kidney or heart disease;
- Kidney stones or stones of the urinary tract;
- Diseases causing high levels of vitamin D in the blood;
- Dehydration or any other chemical imbalance in the blood;
- High phosphate levels in the blood;
- A blood transfusion.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of you being given Calcium Gluconate Injection during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given Calcium Gluconate Injection.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket, health food shop, naturopath or herbalist.
Some medicines and calcium gluconate may interfere with each other. These include:
- Medicines used to treat heart diseases such as cardiac glycosides e.g. digoxin or digitalis;
- Tetracycline antibiotics such as Achromycin and Tetrex;
- High doses of vitamin D or vitamin A;
- Medicines used to treat Paget’s disease such as calcitonin;
- Medicines used to reduce blood pressure such as verapamil and other calcium channel blockers;
- Medicines used to reduce excess fluid in the body such as thiazide diuretics;
- Medicines used to relax muscles prior to surgery such as tubocurarine;
- Medicines containing calcium, magnesium, potassium phosphate or sodium phosphate.
These medicines may be affected by Calcium Gluconate Injection or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while being given Calcium Gluconate Injection.
How Calcium Gluconate Injection is given
Calcium Gluconate Injection must only be given by a doctor or nurse.
How it is given
It is usually given as a slow injection or infusion into a vein.
Calcium Gluconate Injection will normally be warmed to body temperature before use.
How much is given
Your doctor will decide what dose of calcium gluconate you will receive and for how long you will receive it. This depends on your medical condition and other factors, such as your weight. Sometimes only a single dose of calcium gluconate is required.
If you are given too much (overdose)
Calcium Gluconate Injection must only be given by a doctor or nurse so an overdose is unlikely to occur.
Some medical conditions may result in too much calcium in the blood. Your doctor or nurse will monitor the level of calcium in the blood.
If you notice any symptoms of an overdose contact your doctor immediately or go to the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital.
Symptoms of an overdose may include:
- Nausea, vomiting;
- Loss of appetite;
- Abdominal pain, constipation;
- Weakness in the muscles and painful joints;
- Excessive thirst and an excessive passing of urine;
- Change in heartbeat or chest pain.
Contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for further advice on overdose management.
While you are being given Calcium Gluconate Injection
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you have been given Calcium Gluconate Injection.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who treat you that you have been given this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you have been given this medicine. It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while being given this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you have been given this medicine. It may interfere with the results of some tests.
Keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some tests from time to time to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Calcium Gluconate Injection affects you. This medicine may cause dizziness, light-headedness or weakness in some people. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else dangerous.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly. Standing up slowly, especially when you get up from bed or chairs, will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. If this problem continues or gets worse, talk to your doctor.
After being given Calcium Gluconate Injection
After you have been given Calcium Gluconate Injection you should lie down for a short time to prevent dizziness.
If you feel light-headed or dizzy when getting up, get up slowly. Standing up slowly will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure.
If this problem continues or gets worse, talk to your doctor or nurse.
Calcium Gluconate Injection will be stored in the surgery, pharmacy or ward of a hospital. The injection is kept in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C but not refrigerated.
Calcium Gluconate Injection will only be opened when it is time for you to have the injection.
Schedule of Calcium Gluconate Injection
Calcium Gluconate Injection is unscheduled.
Side effects of Calcium Gluconate Injection
Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being given Calcium Gluconate Injection. This medicine may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them. Ask your doctor to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Tingling sensation;
- A feeling of heat or heaviness over the body;
- A calcium or chalky taste.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital:
- Dizziness, feeling faint;
- Irregular, fast or slow heartbeat, chest pain;
- Nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite;
- Constipation or abdominal pain;
- Sweating, hot flushes;
- Skin redness, pain or burning at the injection site;
- Muscle or joint pain;
- Tiredness or weakness;
- Excessive thirst or urination.
The above list includes very serious side effects. These side effects are very rare.
Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people. Some of these side effects can only be found when your doctor does tests from time to time to check your progress.
For further information talk to your doctor.