Calcium Gluconate

Indications, Contraindications, and Usage

  • Calcium is an alkaline earth metal, as are strontium, barium, and radium.
  • A mass effect from calcium can interfere with absorption of the other alkaline earths and compete for bone deposition.
  • Intravenous calcium gluconate may be indicated for inhaled radioactive strontium (Sr-90). As per NCRP 161, blockage of intestinal absorption with oral barium sulfate is also required in cases of inhaled strontium.
  • Suggested IV dosing for calcium gluconate
    • 500 mg of calcium/ampoule: 5 ampoules in 500 cc 5% dextrose in water (D5W IV over 4-6 hours)
    • Can be given daily for up to 6 consecutive days.
  • Calcium gluconate is contraindicated in patients
    • With very slow heart rate
    • On digoxin preparations
    • On quinidine
  • Suggested PO dosing for barium sulfate
    • 300 g PO ASAP

FDA Product Safety Info

  • Not FDA approved for this indication/off-label use

top of page


  1. Management of Persons Contaminated with Radionuclides: Handbook (NCRP Report No. 161, Vol. I), National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Bethesda, MD, 2008, Medical Treatments Arranged by Radionuclide (p. 226) and Table 12.19 (p. 227). [Note: NCRP 161 supersedes NCRP 65.]