Skip to Content
Looking to save on your medications?  Find out how 


Generic name: strontium-89 chloride systemic

Brand names: Metastron

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Solution, Intravenous, as chloride [preservative free]:

Metastron: 1 mCi/mL (4 mL [DSC]) [pyrogen free]


Mechanism of Action

Strontium-89 selectively localizes in metastatic bone lesions emitting beta radiation to reduce pain.



Selectively localizes in bone mineral (preferentially to metastatic bone lesions)


In patients with bone metastases: Urine (67%); feces (33%)

Onset of Action

Pain relief: 7 to 20 days

Use: Labeled Indications

Skeletal metastases (bone pain): Relief of bone pain in patients with skeletal metastases.

Limitation of use: Confirm the presence of bone metastases prior to therapy.


There are no contraindications listed in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Dosage and Administration

Dosing: Adult

Skeletal metastases (bone pain): IV: 148 megabecquerel (MBq; 4 millicurie [mCi]) or 1.5 to 2.2 MBq (40 to 60 microCi)/kg; repeat doses should be based on individual response, symptoms, and blood counts and are generally not recommended at intervals <90 days. Measure dose by a suitable radioactivity calibration system immediately prior to administration.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.


IV: Administer intravenously slowly over 1 to 2 minutes. Radiopharmaceutical; use appropriate precautions for handling and disposal.


Store vial (and contents) at 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F); store in transportation shield container.

Drug Interactions

There are no known significant interactions.

Adverse Reactions

Frequency not defined.

Cardiovascular: Flushing (after rapid injection)

Hematologic & oncologic: Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia (nadir: 12 to 16 weeks; recovery: 6 months)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Ostealgia (transient increase; duration: 36 to 72 hours)

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Chills, fever, hot flash, septicemia


Concerns related to adverse effects:

  • Bone marrow suppression: Bone marrow toxicity (thrombocytopenia and leukopenia) is likely to occur. Use is not recommended in patients with seriously compromised bone marrow function from prior therapies or from disease infiltration (unless potential benefit outweighs risks). Monitor CBC at least every other week. The platelet nadir typically occurs between 12 and 16 weeks following administration; platelets and WBC recovery occur slowly, generally reaching baseline levels 6 months after treatment in the absence of other therapy interventions or disease progression. Use with caution in patients with platelets <60,000/mm3 or WBCs <2,400/mm3. Carefully evaluate bone marrow status and toxicity of initial dose if considering repeat administration.
  • Bone pain: A small number of patients have experienced a transient increase in bone pain at 36 to 72 hours after administration; this is generally mild and self-limiting.
  • Flushing: A flushing sensation has been reported following rapid (<30 seconds) injection.

Disease-related concerns:

  • Incontinence: Incontinent patients may require urinary catheterization (to minimize radioactive contamination of clothing, bedding, and/or environment).
  • Renal impairment: Primarily eliminated renally; possible risk versus benefit should be evaluated in patients with renal impairment.

Special handling:

  • Radiopharmaceutical: Use appropriate precautions for handling, disposal, and minimizing exposure to patients and healthcare personnel. Use only under supervision of individuals with experience/training in the handling of radioactive materials approved by the applicable regulatory authority. Patients should take the following precautions to minimize exposure (Silberstein 2003): Avoid soiling underclothing or areas around toilet bowls for 2 weeks after injection. Wash any underclothing separately if significantly stained with urine. Where a normal toilet is available, sit to urinate in preference to a urinal. Flush toilet twice after use. Wash hands thoroughly after urination.

Other warnings/precautions:

  • Appropriate use: Strontium-89 is not indicated for use in patients with cancer not involving bone. Due to delayed onset of pain relief (7 to 20 days following administration), also not indicated for use in patients with a short life expectancy.

Monitoring Parameters

CBC with differential (at least every other week)


Pregnancy Risk Factor


Pregnancy Considerations

May cause fetal harm if administered during pregnancy. Women of childbearing potential should avoid becoming pregnant.

Patient Education

  • Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)
  • Patient may experience flushing or bone pain. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of infection, signs of bleeding (vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, coughing up blood, blood in the urine, black, red, or tarry stools, bleeding from the gums, abnormal vaginal bleeding, bruises without a reason or that get bigger, or any bleeding that is very bad or that will not stop), or severe loss of strength and energy (HCAHPS).
  • Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health. Last updated September 5, 2019.