Brand name: CaCl or CaCl2
Drug Class: Antidotes; Calcium Salts
Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in the body. It is the major makeup of your bones. Calcium is essential to the function of our nervous and muscular systems, the coagulation of blood, and for normal contractility of the heart. Calcium also affects the secretory activity of endocrine and exocrine glands.
In water, calcium chloride breaks down into calcium and chloride ions. These ions are regular components of body fluids and depend on other physiological mechanisms to maintain the balance from one’s intake and output. Approximately 80% of body calcium gets excreted in the feces as insoluble salts, and the remaining 20% is excreted through the urine.
Calcium chloride is used in the treatment of hypocalcemia (low calcium), hyperkalemia (high potassium), and hypermagnesemia (high magnesium). It is also used in the immediate treatment of hypocalcemic tetany, which causes muscle spasms due to abnormally low levels of calcium in the body. Other uses for calcium chloride include cardiac resuscitation, arrhythmias, calcium-channel blocker overdose, and beta-blocker overdose.
- – Redness
- – Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels in the blood)
- – Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in the blood)
- – Hypophosphatemia (low phosphate levels in the blood)
- – Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- – Nausea
- – Vasodilation
- – Weakness
- – Kidney stones- indicated by back pain, belly pain, or blood in the urine
- – Hot flashes
- – Fainting or dizziness
- – Injection site reactions: tingling, burning, inflammation of veins (phlebitis)
- – Mood changes
- – Cardiac arrhythmias
- – Change in how much urine is passed
- – Bone pain
- – Known or suspected digoxin toxicity
- – Not recommended as routine treatment in cardiac arrest (includes asystole, ventricular fibrillation, pulseless ventricular tachycardia, or pulseless electrical activity)
- – Intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous administration
- – Those with kidney stones
- – Those with hypercalcemia (high calcium blood levels)
- – Those with hypophosphatemia (low phosphate blood levels)
Calcium chloride is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. There is no data on use in pregnant women to know this drugs risks, including the risk of fetal harm or reproductive effects. Breast milk normally contains calcium. It is unknown if calcium chloride distributes into breast milk, and there is no information regarding the effects it may have on a breastfed infant.
Calcium chloride injections should be administered only by slow intravenous injection. Administration should not exceed 1mL/min. If necessary, the solution should be warmed to body temperature. If discomfort occurs during administration, injection should be halted and then resumed when discomfort disappears. Following the injection, the patient should remain recumbent for a short period of time.
Calcium chloride interacts severely with the antibiotic ceftriaxone. Calcium chloride has moderate interactions with 48 different drugs and mild interactions with at least 52 different drugs. Therefore, it is extremely important to tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all medications you are taking and share it with your doctor or pharmacist. Check with your care provider for any questions or concerns.