About strontium ranelate
|Type of medicine||Medicine that strengthens bones|
|Used for||Osteoporosis (weak bones)|
|Available as||Sachets containing granules|
Osteoporosis is a bone disease which causes bones to become brittle and fragile, making them prone to breaks and fractures. In your body, old bone is constantly being broken down and replaced by new bone. If you have osteoporosis, your old bone is being lost faster than new bone can replace it. This is particularly common in women who have been through the menopause.
Strontium ranelate works by slowing down the loss of bone and also by helping to build new bone. Both these actions will help to keep your bones strong and less likely to break.
Before taking strontium ranelate
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking strontium ranelate, it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are a woman who has not yet been through the menopause.
- If your kidneys do not work properly.
- If you or any close family members have ever had a blood clot in your leg veins or lungs.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take strontium ranelate
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about strontium ranelate and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take these granules exactly as your doctor has told you. Take the contents of one sachet mixed into a glass of water once every day. It is recommended that you take it at bedtime, at least two hours after your evening meal. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack to remind you.
- Once the granules have been mixed with water, they are best swallowed straightaway. If necessary, however, you can keep the liquid for up to 24 hours.
- You should take this medicine 'on an empty stomach'. This means that you should either take it two hours before a meal, or wait until two hours afterwards. This is because your body absorbs less of the medicine straight after a meal, which means it is less effective.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- Eating a well-balanced diet and taking regular exercise can help bones stay strong. Remember to follow any lifestyle advice your doctor has given you.
- If you are due to have an operation, you should tell your doctor or nurse that you are taking this medicine. If it is likely that you will not be mobile for a period of time, your doctor may want you to stop taking the sachets for a while.
- If you have any medical tests, say that you are taking strontium ranelate. This is because it can interfere with the results of some blood and urine tests.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with strontium ranelate. This is because some indigestion remedies (antacids) should not be taken within two hours before or after taking it.
- Smoking can increase the loss of bone in osteoporosis. If you are a smoker, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on stopping.
Can strontium ranelate cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common strontium ranelate side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sick||Eat simple meals (avoid rich and spicy foods)|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Skin irritation||Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice if this becomes troublesome|
|Feeling forgetful||Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice if this becomes troublesome|
Important: your doctor will have discussed with you the possibility of rare, but possibly serious, unwanted side-effects of this treatment. Stop taking strontium ranelate and let your doctor know straightaway if you experience any of the following:
- A rash with flu-like symptoms. This is because strontium ranelate may cause a rare but serious allergic reaction called DRESS.
- Any swelling of your face or mouth, or any difficulties breathing. These also may be signs of an allergic reaction.
- Painful or swollen legs. This may be sign of a blood clot in your legs.
- Chest pain or feeling short of breath. These may be signs of a blood clot in your lungs.
How to store strontium ranelate
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Protelos®; Servier Laboratories Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2012.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Helen Huins|
|Last Checked: 05/09/2012||Document ID: 4160 Version: 4||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.