Calcium Acetate (PhosLo) Nursing Considerations

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Generic Name

calcium acetate

Trade Name



treatment of hypocalcemia, prevention of post-menopausal osteoporosis, treatment of hyperkalemia and hypermagnesaemia, adjunct in cardiac arrest, control of hyperphosphatemia with ESRD. Binds to phosphate in food and prevents absorption.


calcium is essential for nervous muscular and skeletal systems, helps maintain cell membranes, aids in transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction, aids in blood formation and coagulation

Therapeutic Class

mineral and electrolyte replacements/supplements

Pharmacologic Class


Nursing Considerations

• may cause cardiac arrest and arrhythmias
• phlebitis at site of insertion
• monitor hemodynamics
• may cause hypotension, bradycardia, and arrhythmias
• hypercalcemia can increase risk for digoxin toxicity
• administer slowly
• instruct pt on foods that contain Vitamin D and encourage adequate intake.
• monitor parathyroid hormone

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Hey guys, let’s talk about calcium acetate. Also known as PhosLo. This is an oral and IV medication. You can see here what calcium acetate actually looks like when it is not in its capsule. So remember when we talk about the therapeutic class versus the pharmacologic class, the therapeutic class is what the drug does in the body. While the pharmacologic class is the actual chemical effect. So calcium acetate’s therapeutic class is a mineral and electrolyte replacement while the pharmacologic class is an acid and phosphate regulator. So how does calcium acetate work? So remember calcium is essential for nervous and skeletal muscle function. So calcium maintains cell membranes and aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and blood formation and coagulation. Calcium acetate is indicated for hypocalcemia and the prevention of postmenopausal, osteoporosis, hyperemia, hyperemia, and the control of hyperphosphatemia with end-stage renal disease or ESRD. 

So with calcium acetate treatment, there may come some side effects. These can include hypotension, bradycardia, and arrhythmias as calcium has a great deal to do with regulating the heart’s rhythm. So let’s take a look at a few nursing considerations in regards to calcium acetate. Remember when administering, it should be given slowly, monitor your patient’s parathyroid hormone and hemodynamics. There are risks involved with calcium acetate, which can include arrest, arrhythmias, and phlebitis at the site of insertion. Hypercalcemia can increase the risk of digoxin toxicity, so remember that. Be sure to teach the patient which foods are high in vitamin D and encourage them to eat these foods. So we need to consider our dialysis patients with this medication as we use it often to keep their phosphate levels from getting too high. So remember that if you have a patient on dialysis. that’s it for calcium acetate or PhosLo. Now go out and be your best self today and as always happy nursing.

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