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Ca-DTPA Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 6/1/2016

Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium) is a chelating agent used to treat patients with known or suspected internal contamination with plutonium, americium, or curium to increase the rates of elimination. Common side effects of Ca-DTPA include:

  • headache
  • lightheadedness
  • chest pain
  • allergic reaction
  • skin inflammation
  • metallic taste
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • injection site reactions, and
  • loss of certain essential nutritional metals (such as zinc, magnesium, and manganese) from the body

The initial dose of Ca-DTPA for adults and adolescents is a single 1.0 gram initial dose of Ca-DTPA administered intravenously. The pediatric dose (less than 12 years of age) is a single initial dose of 14 mg/kg administered intravenously not exceed 1.0 gram. Ca-DTPA may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Ca-DTPA should be used only if prescribed. Radiocontaminants are known to pass into breast milk. Women with known or suspected internal contamination with radiocontaminants should not breastfeed, whether or not they are receiving chelation therapy. Precautions should be taken when discarding breast milk.

Our Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Ca-DTPA FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


In the U.S. Registry, a total of 646 individuals received at least one dose of either Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium inj) or Zn-DTPA. Of these, 632 received Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium inj) by one or more routes of administration. Three hundred and twenty-six individuals were dosed by inhalation, 293 by intravenous injection, and 60 by other or unknown routes of administration.

Of the individuals that received Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium inj) , 393/632 (62%) received one dose and 65 (10%) received two doses. The remaining 174 individuals received three or more doses. The largest number of Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium inj) doses to a single individual was 338 delivered over 6.5 years. Overall, the presence or absence of adverse events was recorded in 310/646 individuals. Of these 19 (6.1%) individuals reported at least one adverse event. The total number of recorded adverse events was 20. Of the 20 adverse events, 18 adverse events occurred after treatment with Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium inj) . Adverse events included headache, lightheadedness, chest pain, allergic reaction, dermatitis, metallic taste, nausea and diarrhea, and injection site reactions.

Cough and/or wheezing were experienced by 2 individuals receiving nebu-lized Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium inj) , one of whom had a history of asthma.

In the literature, prolonged treatment with Ca-DTPA (pentetate calcium trisodium inj) resulted in depletion of zinc, magnesium, manganese and possibly metalloproteinases.(See WARNINGS)

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ca-DTPA (Pentetate Calcium Trisodium Inj)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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