STRONTIUM Overview Information
Strontium is a silvery metal found naturally as a non-radioactive element. About 99% of the strontium in the human body is concentrated in the bones.
Several different forms of strontium are used as medicine. Scientists are testing strontium ranelate to see if it can be taken by mouth to treat thinning bones (osteoporosis). Radioactive strontium-89 is given intravenously (by IV) for prostate cancer and advanced bone cancer. Strontium chloride hexahydrate is added to toothpaste to reduce pain in sensitive teeth.
Strontium chloride is the most common form of strontium found in dietary supplements. People use supplements for building bones. But there isn't much scientific information about the safety or effectiveness of strontium chloride when taken by mouth.
How does it work?
A special form of strontium called strontium ranelate can increase bone formation and prevent bone loss when used in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. It's not known if strontium contained in dietary supplements has these effects.
A radioactive form of strontium may kill some cancer cells. This type of strontium is not available in dietary supplements.
There is some interest in using strontium for osteoarthritis because developing research suggests it might boost the formation of collagen and cartilage in joints.
There is also interest in studying strontium for preventing tooth decay because researchers have noticed fewer dental caries in some population groups who drink public water that contains relatively high levels of strontium.
- Bone pain related to bone cancer. A special prescription form of strontium is given by injection for this use.
- Sensitive teeth. Strontium chloride is added to some toothpaste for this use. Brushing twice daily seems to work best.
Possibly Effective for:
- Treating osteoporosis ("bone thinning") in older women. A special form of strontium called strontium ranelate is used. This form of strontium is not used in dietary supplements. It's not known if the strontium contained in dietary supplements is effective for osteoporosis.
- Treating prostate cancer that isn’t responding to other treatments. A prescription form of strontium is given by injection for this use.
- Dental cavities.
- Other conditions.
STRONTIUM Side Effects & Safety
The forms of prescription strontium are safe when used under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Strontium ranelate might cause side effects such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and headache in some people.
Toothpastes that contain strontium have received safety approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
There is some concern that very high doses of strontium might damage the bones.
There's not enough information to know if the form of strontium contained in dietary supplements is safe.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Strontium in toothpaste seems to be safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, strontium supplements should be avoided, because not enough is known about their safety. Strontium-89 is UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is a radioactive material that might harm the fetus. It may also pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing infant.
Children: Strontium supplements might not be safe for children.
Paget's disease (a bone disease): The bones of people with Paget's disease seem to take up more strontium than normal. It’s not known how important this finding is for health.
Kidney problems: Strontium is eliminated by the kidneys and can build up in people with poor kidney function. Use strontium supplements with caution if you have kidney disease. Strontium ranelate should not be used if kidney disease is advanced.
Blood clotting disorders: Strontium ranelate is associated with a small increased risk of blood clots. There is some concern that strontium might be more likely to cause blot clots in people with blood clotting disorders. It’s best not to use strontium if you have a clotting disorder.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Antacids interacts with STRONTIUM
Antacids are used to decrease stomach acid. They can decrease strontium absorption. To avoid this interaction take antacids at least two hours after taking strontium products.
Some antacids include calcium carbonate (Tums, others), dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate (Rolaids, others), magaldrate (Riopan), aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel), aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide combinations (Maalox, Mylanta, others), and others.
- Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) interacts with STRONTIUM
Strontium can attach to some antibiotics called quinolones in the stomach. This decreases the amount of quinolones that can be absorbed. Taking strontium with quinolones might decrease their effectiveness. To avoid this interaction take strontium at least 2 hours before or after taking quinolones.
Some quinolones include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), and trovafloxacin (Trovan).
- Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with STRONTIUM
Strontium can attach to some antibiotics called tetracyclines in the stomach. This decreases the amount of tetracyclines that can be absorbed. Taking strontium with tetracyclines might decrease their effectiveness. To avoid this interaction take strontium at least 2 hours before or after taking tetracyclines.
Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin, and others).
- Estrogens interacts with STRONTIUM
Estrogens might decrease how fast the body gets rid of strontium. This could cause the body to have too much strontium and potentially cause side effects.
Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
- Male hormones (Androgens) interacts with STRONTIUM
Male hormones (Androgens) might decrease how fast the body gets rid of strontium. This could cause the body to have too much strontium and potentially cause side effects.
Some male hormones include testosterone, nandrolone, oxandrolone, and oxymetholone.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- Healthcare providers administer strontium by IV for bone pain due to advanced cancer.