Overview

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 and strontium chloride is the most common form of strontium found in dietary supplements.

People use strontium for conditions such as tooth sensitivity, weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis), osteoarthritis, prostate cancer, and others. There isn't enough reliable information to know if the form of strontium contained in dietary supplements (strontium chloride) is safe.

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.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Effective for

  • Tooth sensitivity. Research shows that using strontium chloride with strontium acetate in toothpaste relieves pain in sensitive teeth. Brushing twice daily seems to work best.
  • Cancer that has spread to bone and causes pain. Research shows that a special prescription form of strontium (strontium-89 chloride) given intravenously (by IV) reduces pain from metastatic bone cancer.

Likely Effective for

  • Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Research shows that taking strontium ranelate by mouth reduces the risk of fractures and increases bone density in people with osteoporosis. Strontium ranelate is approved as a medicine in Europe for this condition. But it can cause serious side effects. So other treatments are usually used instead. Strontium ranelate is not available in the U.S.

Possibly Effective for

  • Osteoarthritis. Some research shows that taking strontium ranelate helps prevent arthritis of the spine from becoming worse. Taking strontium ranelate also seems to decrease pain, stiffness, and loss of cartilage in people with arthritis of the knee. Strontium ranelate is not available in the U.S.
  • Prostate cancer. Some research shows that giving a special prescription form of strontium (strontium-89 chloride) intravenously (by IV) slows the growth of prostate cancer that is resistant to treatment and also relieves pain.
There is interest in using strontium for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Strontium is LIKELY SAFE when taken in amounts found in food. The typical diet includes 0.5-1.5 mg of strontium per day. Taking a prescription form of strontium, known as strontium ranelate, for up to 10 years is POSSIBLY SAFE. Strontium ranelate might cause side effects such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and headache in some people. This form of strontium is not available in the U.S.

Taking very high doses of strontium by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. High doses of strontium might damage the bones.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if the form of strontium typically contained in dietary supplements (strontium chloride) is safe or what the side effects might be.

When given by IV: The prescription form of strontium known as strontium-89 chloride is LIKELY SAFE when given intravenously (by IV) under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

When applied to the teeth:Toothpastes (Sensodyne-SC) that contain strontium are LIKELY SAFE and have received safety approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Strontium is LIKELY SAFE when taken in amounts found in food. The typical diet includes 0.5-1.5 mg of strontium per day. Taking a prescription form of strontium, known as strontium ranelate, for up to 10 years is POSSIBLY SAFE. Strontium ranelate might cause side effects such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and headache in some people. This form of strontium is not available in the U.S.

Taking very high doses of strontium by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. High doses of strontium might damage the bones.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if the form of strontium typically contained in dietary supplements (strontium chloride) is safe or what the side effects might be.

When given by IV: The prescription form of strontium known as strontium-89 chloride is LIKELY SAFE when given intravenously (by IV) under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

When applied to the teeth:Toothpastes (Sensodyne-SC) that contain strontium are LIKELY SAFE and have received safety approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Strontium is LIKELY SAFE to take in food amounts or use in a toothpaste (Sensodyne-SC) when pregnant or breast-feeding. There isn't enough reliable information to know if taking strontium by mouth in larger amounts is safe when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts. A specific prescription form of strontium, strontium-89, is LIKELY 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.

Heart disease: Don't use strontium if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.

Cerebrovascular disease (stroke): Don't use strontium if you have a history of stroke or poor circulation to the brain.

Paget's disease (a bone disease): Use strontium with caution. 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.

Peripheral arterial disease (decreased blood flow through veins): Don't use strontium if you have peripheral arterial disease.

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 concern that strontium might be more likely to cause blot clots in people with blood clotting disorders or those at high risk of blood clotting. It's best not to use strontium if you have a clotting disorder.

Interactions ?

    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), 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 quinolone antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin, moxifloxacin (Avelox), and others.

  • 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 can decrease their effects. To avoid this interaction, take strontium at least 2 hours before or after taking tetracyclines.

    Some tetracycline antibiotics include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline.

  • 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.

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:
  • For weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis): 0.5-2 grams of strontium ranelate has been taken daily for up to 10 years. The highest dose of 2 grams daily seems to work the best.
  • For ostearthritis: 1-2 grams of strontium ranelate has been taken daily for up to 3 years.
BY IV
  • For cancer that has spread to bone and causes pain. Healthcare providers administer strontium through the vein for bone pain due to cancer.
  • Prostate cancer. Healthcare providers administer strontium through the vein for prostate cancer.
ON THE TEETH
  • For tooth sensitivity. Two formulations of strontium have been used. Strontium acetate 8% has been used twice daily for up to 8 weeks. Strontium chloride 10% (Hyposen by Lege Artis Pharma GmbH) has been used for up to 6 months.
View References

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.