Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex


Clodronate is a medicine used to treat a high level of calcium in the blood caused by changes in the body that happen with cancer. Clodronate also treats the weakening in the bones when cancer has spread to the bones from another part of the body.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of clodronate in children with use in other age groups.


Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of clodronate in the elderly with use in other age groups.


Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using this medicine.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Stomach cramping or pain, nausea, stomach burning—Taking clodronate, especially by mouth, may make your stomach problems worse
  • Kidney problems—Taking clodronate may cause your kidney problems to get worse. Your doctor may give you a smaller amount of clodronate to take

Proper Use


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form :
    • For treating hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood):
      • Adults—1600 milligrams (mg) to 2400 mg given in one or two divided amounts per day. Your doctor may give you capsules after you have had clodronate through your vein. You should not take more than 3200 mg in a day. You should take clodronate at least two hours before or after food.
      • Children—Use and dosage must be determined by your doctor.

    For injection dosage form:

    • For treating hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood):
      • Adults—300 mg in a solution to be injected over at least two hours into a vein once a day for two to five days. The treatment will not be longer than seven days. The amount of medicine may be less if you have kidney problems.
      • Children—Use and dosage must be determined by your doctor.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.


It is very important that you take adequate fluid before and while taking clodronate.

If you will be taking this medicine for a long time, it is very important that your doctor see you at regular visits to check the calcium in your blood and to see how well the clodronate is working.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:


  1. Breathing problems
  2. convulsions (seizures)
  3. mood or mental changes
  4. muscle cramps in hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  5. muscle shaking
  6. problems with urination
  7. sores in throat
  8. stomach cramps or pain
  9. swelling of face, ankles or hands
  10. unusual heartbeats
  11. unusual tiredness or weakness

Symptoms of Overdose

  1. Convulsions (seizures)
  2. mood or mental changes
  3. muscle cramps
  4. problems with urination
  5. stomach pain or cramps
  6. trouble breathing
  7. unusual heartbeat

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Diarrhea
  2. increased bowel movements
  3. nausea and vomiting

Less common

  1. Cloudy urine
  2. mouth irritation

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.