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Sodium clodronate (Bonefos, Clasteon)

Find out what sodium clodronate is, how you have it and other important information about taking sodium clodronate.

What it is

Sodium clodronate is a type of bisphosphonate drug. Doctors use it to treat the symptoms of cancers that affect the bones. It is a treatment for a number of cancers including myeloma and secondary breast cancer.

How it works

Cancer that has spread to the bones encourages the breakdown of too much bone. This weakens the bones, making fractures more likely. It can also cause pain and releases calcium from the bone cells into the blood.Sodium clodronate helps to slow down the breakdown of bone by the cancer cells.

You may have sodium clodronate for one of the following reasons to:

  • lower high blood calcium (hypercalcaemia)
  • strengthen weak areas of bone (osteolytic lesions)
  • reduce bone pain due to cancers that have spread to the bone

You might also have it to maintain calcium levels in the body after having treatment with another bisphosphonate drug. 

How you have it

Sodium clodronate are capsules or tablets you have once a day, at the same time each day. 

Taking your tablets or capsules

You must take tablets and capsules according to the instructions your doctor or pharmacist gives you.

Whether you have a full or empty stomach can affect how much of a drug gets into your bloodstream.

You should take the right dose, not more or less.

Never stop taking a cancer drug without talking to your specialist first.

You take the tablets or capsules with water. You need to take them on an empty stomach, at least 1 or 2 hours before or an hour after you have a meal, drink, or other medicines. Other foods or medicines (especially milk) can stop sodium clodronate being absorbed. 

If you forget a dose take it as soon as possible. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take the next dose at the usual time. Do not take a double dose.

Tell your doctor straight away if you accidentally take too much sodium clodronate.

Tests during treatment

You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Side effects

Important information

Other medicines, foods and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids while having sodium clodronate treatment so that you don't get dehydrated.

Pregnancy and contraception

This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or father a child while you are having treatment and for a few months afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.


Don’t breastfeed during this treatment because the drug may come through in your breast milk.

Treatment for other conditions

Always tell other doctors, nurses, pharmacists or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.


Don’t have immunisations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for at least 6 months afterwards.

In the UK, live vaccines include rubella, mumps, measles, BCG, yellow fever and shingles vaccine (Zostavax).

You can:

  • have other vaccines, but they might not give you as much protection as usual
  • have the flu vaccine
  • be in contact with other people who've had live vaccines as injections

Avoid contact with people who’ve had live vaccines taken by mouth (oral vaccines). This includes the rotavirus vaccine given to babies. The virus is in the baby’s urine for up to 2 weeks and can make you ill. So, avoid changing their nappies for 2 weeks after their vaccination if possible. Or wear disposable gloves and wash your hands well afterwards.

You also need to avoid anyone who has had oral polio or typhoid vaccination recently.

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Information and help

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