Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If your hypercalcemia is mild, you and your doctor may choose to watch and wait, monitoring your bones and kidneys over time to be sure they remain healthy.

Medications

In some cases, your doctor may recommend:

  • Calcimimetics. This type of drug mimics calcium circulating in the blood, so it can help control overactive parathyroid glands.
  • Bisphosphonates. Intravenous osteoporosis drugs can help rebuild bone weakened by hypercalcemia. Risks associated with this treatment include osteonecrosis of the jaw and certain types of thigh fractures.
  • Prednisone. If your hypercalcemia is caused by high levels of vitamin D, short-term use of steroid pills such as prednisone might be helpful.
  • IV fluids and diuretics. Extremely high calcium levels can be a medical emergency. Hospitalization for treatment with IV fluids and diuretics to promptly lower the calcium level may be needed to prevent heart rhythm problems or damage to the nervous system.

Surgical and other procedures

Problems associated with overactive parathyroid glands often can be cured by surgery to remove the malfunctioning tissue. In many cases, only one of a person's four parathyroid glands is affected. A special scanning test uses an injection of a small dose of radioactive material to locate the gland or glands that aren't working properly.

Apr. 25, 2014

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