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Emergencies >> Hypercalcemia


Hypercalcemia is often caused by bone metastases of lung cancer, renal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma.  It can also be caused by a paraneoplastic syndrome (e. g. small cell lung cancer).


Fatigue, lethargy, psychiatric symptoms, nausea, constipation, polyuria, polydypsia.



  • Consider dialysis!
  • Administration of fluids and diuretics (if renal function is normal, e. g.: 3x 1000 ml NaCl 0,9% / D5% + 2x 40 mg lasix per day)
  • Bisphosphonates, e. g.. zoledronate (Zometa®/Reclast®) 4 mg over 15 min. i. v. (or pamidronate (Aredia®) 90 mg over 90 min. i. v.
  • Steroids (may lower calcium absorption), e. g. 3x 8 mg dexamethasone
  • If a quick decrease of calcium is needed, consider calcitonin i. v.
  • Monitor calcium regularly. Attention: Some machines measure the "free calcium". This may suggest lower calcium values than total calcium measurement.
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