Treatment of symptomatic hypercalcemia is treating the underlying cause but also some symptomatic management. Usually aggressive IV hydration is warranted sometimes even at 150-200-250 CC/HR.
Once volume depletion is addressed, a loop diuretic MAY be used for augmentation of calcium excretion.
A recent review and analysis published in Annals of Internal Medicine sheds some light about use of loop diuretic in this setting.
The review suggests the following points:
1. Aggressive hydration is necessary
2. Use of diuretics without aggressive hydration might be harmful
3. Found only 9 articles documenting the use of furosemide in hypercalcemia and latest one published in 1983 and total was only 37 patients.
4. Average dose was 1120mg over 24 hours ( really??)
5. Normalization of Ca occurred in only 14 of 39 cases
6. Study with lower doses didn't achieve normalization ( and what do we use????)
7. complications of other electrolyte disorders ensued
8. Finally, recommended against the use of this agent routinely except for cases of volume overloaded with hypercalcemia.
I think the tile of the paper listed below nicely puts it:- Furosemide in hypercalcemia is an unproven but common practice ( really not evidence based)
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