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Do certain drugs cause calcium deficiency?

Yes, certain drugs cause calcium deficiency, since they may interfere with the body's ability to absorb and utilize calcium, leading to long-term health consequences.

Understanding the potential impact of medications on calcium absorption is crucial for maintaining overall health and preventing calcium deficiency.

Certain medications have been identified as potential contributors to calcium deficiency due to their effects on calcium absorption and utilization.

Here are some examples of medications known to interfere with calcium levels:

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs):

Proton pump inhibitors are widely used to treat conditions such as acid reflux and peptic ulcers by reducing stomach acid production. However, stomach acid is essential for calcium absorption. Prolonged use of PPIs may reduce calcium absorption, increasing the risk of calcium deficiency over time.

  • Diuretics:

Certain diuretic medications, particularly loop diuretics, can enhance the excretion of calcium in the urine. Increased urinary calcium excretion can lead to reduced calcium levels in the body, potentially contributing to calcium deficiency if not addressed. They may also lower magnesium levels, which further contributes to hypocalcemia.

  • Glucocorticoids:

Glucocorticoids, such as prednisone, are commonly prescribed to manage various inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. Long-term use of these medications can interfere with calcium absorption and increase urinary calcium excretion, raising the risk of calcium deficiency and related bone health issues.

  • Anticonvulsant Medications:

Some anticonvulsant drugs have been associated with alterations in vitamin D metabolism. Since vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and utilization, disruptions in this process can lead to reduced calcium levels in the body, potentially contributing to calcium deficiency. They can also decrease calcium resorption in the gut.

Being mindful of the potential impact of medications on calcium levels is essential for maintaining bone health and preventing calcium deficiency. If you are taking any of the mentioned medications or are concerned about calcium absorption, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider. They can assess your individual risk factors and recommend appropriate measures to support calcium intake and overall bone health.


  1. Liamis, G., Milionis, H.J. & Elisaf, M. A review of drug-induced hypocalcemia. J Bone Miner Metab 27, 635–642 (2009).

  2. Gutiérrez-Polo, R.. (2003). Osteoporosis inducida por glucocorticoides. Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra, 26(Supl. 3), 63-80. Recuperado en 04 de agosto de 2023, de

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