Calcium gluconate 10% in 10 mL glass containers: risk of aluminium exposure

15 September 2010

Calcium gluconate is a medicine used to treat conditions such as hypocalcaemia (abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood), and tetany (abnormal muscle contractions) in newborn babies. It is also used in cardiac resuscitation.

A UK review of scientific evidence concluded that calcium gluconate solution for injection (10%) packed in 10 mL glass containers contains unacceptably high levels of aluminium. This can cause adverse effects on bones, nerves, and the brain, particularly in patients with kidney problems or in children.  

Calcium gluconate solution for injection in 10 mL glass containers should no longer be used for prolonged or repeated treatment in patients with kidney problems, or in children. Calcium gluconate solution in plastic containers should be used for these patients instead.

See also:

Article in August 2010 issue of Drug Safety Update (our monthly publication for health professionals on the safety of medicines and vaccines).

This report presents the evidence that was available when the regulatory decision was made, showing a ‘snapshot’ of the clinical landscape at the time. However, any advice in this report remains current unless it is superseded by a more recent report (where relevant, this is indicated).

Page last modified: 11 February 2016