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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.
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