Overview Calcium gluconate, also known as D-Gluconic acid calcium salt, glucobiogen, or calciofon, is the water-soluble calcium salt of gluconic acid. It is employed to treat hypocalcemia and conditions in which the physiological effects of increasing the plasma calcium level are likely to be beneficial to the animal.
Calcium gluconate comes in an assortment of preparations, though the injectable form is most often employed in veterinary medicine.
Calcium is involved in several important biological processes. A Ca++-dependant messenger system regulates important cell function and Ca++ activates some cellular enzyme cascades. Calcium is involved in both smooth muscle and myocardial muscle contraction. It is a positive inotrope and has variable effect on systemic vascular resistance. In addition, calcium is involved in the proper conduction of nervous impulses and regulates the secretory activity of exocrine glands.
Calcium gluconate will treat or prevent the deleterious effects of hypocalcemia. When the hypocalcemia is slowly evolving, oral calcium gluconate can be used. In more acute situations, the injectable variety is preferable.
Calcium gluconate is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
Brand Names and Other Names Calcium gluconate is approved for use in humans and cattle, horses, swine, sheep, cats, and dogs (depending on the product). No withdrawal times are required in food animals
Human formulations: Various generic preparations
Veterinary formulations: Various generic preparations
Uses of Calcium Gluconate
Calcium gluconate may be used as follows: Treatment of hypocalcemia from any cause (esp. hypoparathyroidism)
Prevention of hypocalcemia during blood transfusion
As a cardiac stimulant when epinephrine has failed
As a physiological antagonist to potassium in hyperkalemia
Treatment of eclampsia in cats and dogs.
Adjunctive treatment of insect bites or stings
Uterine inertia or dystocia
Precautions and Side Effects While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, calcium gluconate can cause side effects in some animals.
Calcium gluconate should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity to it.
Calcium gluconate may act as an irritant to the skin, eye or respiratory systems.
Subcutaneous masses, erythema, bullae, granulomata, and skin sloughing may develop at sites of subcutaneous injection.
Calcium gluconate may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with calcium gluconate. Interactions may include: Simultaneous treatment with calcium gluconate and cardiac glycosides is not recommended as toxic effects of the glycoside and potential for cardiac arrhythmias are markedly increased when these two drugs are co-administered.
Calcium complexes tetracycline antibiotics, rendering them inactive. Calcium containing solutions and tetracyclines should not therefore be used together.
How Calcium Gluconate is Supplied Calcium gluconate is available in 500 - 975 mg calcium gluconate (45-90 mg of elemental calcium) tablets.
Powder for oral suspension is available as a 346.7 mg elemental calcium/15mL
Calcium gluconate is also available as 10% and 23% solutions in water.
Dosing Information Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
Doses of calcium gluconate vary widely depending on the reason for prescribing and response top initial doses.
The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.
In dogs with hypocalcemia, the usual dose is 25 to 75 mg per pound (50 to 150 mg/kg) of 10% calcium gluconate solution slowly by intravenous injection with careful monitoring of the heart rate. For dogs with dystocia, 1 mL of 10% solution per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) body weight may be given subcutaneously.
In cats with hypocalcemia, 46 to 70 mg per pound (94 to 140 mg/kg) of a 10% solution may be given slowly by intravenous infection with careful monitoring of the heart rate.