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Hypophosphatemia is a low level of phosphorus in the blood.

Alternative Names:

Low blood phosphate; Phosphate - low


The following may cause hypophosphatemia:

  • Alcoholism
  • Antacids
  • Certain medicines, including acetazolamide, foscarnet, imatinib, pentamidine, and sorafenib
  • Fanconi syndrome
  • Starvation
  • Too little vitamin D
  • Overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism)

Symptoms may include:

  • Bone pain
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness
Exams and Tests:

Your health care provider will examine you.

The following tests may be done:

  • Kidney function tests
  • Vitamin K blood test

Exam and testing may show:


Treatment depends on the cause. Phosphate can be given by mouth or through a vein (IV).

Outlook (Prognosis):

How well you do depends on what has caused the condition.

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

Call your health care provider if you have muscle weakness or confusion.


Yu ASL. Disorders of magnesium and phosphorous. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 121.

Review Date: 11/9/2014
Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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