The principle of biodegradation has been considered for many years in the development of cardiovascular stents, especially for patients with congenital heart defects. A variety of materials have been examined with regard to their suitability for cardiovascular devices. Iron- and magnesium-based stents were investigated intensively during the last years. It has been shown, that iron, or iron based alloys have slow degradation kinetics whereas magnesium-based systems exhibit rapid degradation rates. Recently we have developed fluoride coated binary magnesium-calcium alloys with reduced degradation kinetics. These alloys exhibit good biocompatibility and no major adverse effects toward smooth muscle and endothelial cells in in vitro experiments. In this study, these alloys were investigated in a subcutaneous mouse model. Fluoride coated (fc) magnesium, as well as MgCa0.4%, MgCa0.6%, MgCa0.8%, MgCa1.0%, and a commercially available WE43 alloy were implanted in form of (fc) cylindrical plates into the subcutaneous tissue of NMRI mice. After a 3 and 6 months follow-up, the (fc) alloy plates were examined by histomorphometric techniques to assess their degradation rate in vivo. Our data indicate that all (fc) alloys showed a significant corrosion. For both time points the (fc) MgCa alloys showed a higher corrosion rate in comparison to the (fc) WE43 reference alloy. Significant adverse effects were not observed. Fluoride coating of magnesium-based alloys can be a suitable way to reduce degradation rates. However, the (fc) MgCa alloys did not exhibit decreased degradation kinetics in comparison to the (fc) WE43 alloy in a subcutaneous mouse model. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A:33–43, 2013.