Encyclopedia / H / Hypercalcemia



Hypercalcemia is too much calcium in the blood.


Hypercalcemia is a relatively frequent medical problem.

Its causes include increased intake (excess vitamin D or vitamin A, excess calcium intake), endocrine disorders (primary hyperparathyroidism, adrenal gland insufficiency), cancer (including multiple myeloma), and other causes (thiazide-diuretics, sarcoidosis, Paget's disease of bone).


Mild hypercalcemia is often asymptomatic. Excessive urination and constipation are common. In more severe cases, kidney failure and coma can be observed. Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) may also occur.


A blood test is necessary. An electrocardiogram (EKG) may also be done.


Successful management of hypercalcemia requires management of the underlying disease. Variations in the cause of hypercalcemia and the extent to which hypercalcemia is a clinical problem factor into the decision-making process. Intravenous saline with intravenous furosemide (Lasix) is often adequate.

In hypercalcemia of malignancy (cancer), more specific therapy is required including a bisphosphonate, which lowers blood calcium levels.

If the hypercalcemic state is likely to be sensitive to steroids, the concurrent administration of calcitonin and glucocorticoids may be considered.


What is the cause of the hypercalcemia?

Is it related to hyperparathyroidism?

Is it the result of any other medical condition?

Where are the calcium deposits?

What drugs can be used to treat the hypercalcemia?