Raloxifene is a medication that is prescribed to postmenopausal women to prevent and treat osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes bones to become thin, weak, and susceptible to fractures. Raloxifene is used to reduce the risk of developing invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing this type of cancer or who have osteoporosis.
Raloxifene is not recommended for women who have not yet experienced menopause. This medication falls under the category of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and works by mimicking the effects of estrogen to increase bone density. It also helps to decrease the risk of invasive breast cancer by blocking the effects of estrogen on breast tissue.
Uses and Dosage
Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication, either with or without food, usually once daily.
To achieve the most benefit, take it consistently at the same time each day and make it a habit.
Swallow the tablet whole, without crushing or chewing it, as it may leave a bitter taste.
Ensure that your diet is rich in calcium and vitamin D, or consult your doctor or pharmacist to find out if you require supplements.
This medication can be absorbed through the skin and lungs. Pregnant women or those who might become pregnant should not handle the medication or inhale dust from the tablets as it could harm an unborn baby.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- hot flashes
- leg cramps
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- flu-like syndrome
- joint pain
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- leg cramping
- swelling of hands, ankles, or feet
- symptoms of high blood sugar
- signs of stroke
- symptoms of blood clots
Inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you have, including allergies to raloxifene or any inactive ingredients in the product that may cause an allergic reaction or other problems.
Before using this medication, share your medical history, particularly if you’ve ever experienced blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes, a stroke, mini-stroke, heart disease, a heart attack, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, smoking, kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, or cancer.
If you recently had or will have surgery, or if you will be immobile for a prolonged period, such as during a long plane ride, inform your doctor. These circumstances raise your risk of blood clots. You may need to temporarily discontinue the medication or take special precautions.
Avoid using this medication if you are pregnant, as it could cause harm to an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or believe you may be pregnant, notify your doctor immediately.
Consult your doctor before breast-feeding as it is unclear whether this medication passes into breast milk.
Form and Strength
Evista is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long should you take Evista for?
Due to the chronic nature of osteoporosis and the risk of invasive breast cancer, Evista is intended to be used for long-term treatment (treatment >3 years).
Does Evista strengthen bones?
Evista increases bone density at both the hip and the spine and lowers your chances of breaking a bone in your spine.