Health Encyclopedia > Medications

raloxifene (oral)

Pronunciation: ra LOX i feen

Brand: Evista

Evista 60 mg

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What is the most important information I should know about raloxifene?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to raloxifene, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have ever had a blood clot.

Multum nopreg

Although it is not likely that a postmenopausal woman would be pregnant, raloxifene can cause birth defects and should not be used during pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

Before taking raloxifene, tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have coronary artery disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, a history of stroke or TIA, high triglycerides, if you have not gone through menopause, or if you have had breast cancer in the past.

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If you need to have any type of surgery or will be on bed rest, you will need to stop taking raloxifene for at least 72 hours before your surgery or before you plan to be immobile. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are taking raloxifene.

Avoid sitting still for long periods of time during travel while you are taking raloxifene.

What is raloxifene?

Raloxifene affects the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in the body, and reduces loss of bone tissue.

Raloxifene is used to treat or prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Raloxifene is also used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have osteoporosis or who are otherwise at risk of invasive breast cancer.

Raloxifene may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking raloxifene?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to raloxifene, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have ever had a blood clot.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have:

  • coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis);
  • heart disease;
  • high blood pressure;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • a history of stroke or TIA ("mini-stroke");
  • high triglycerides (often occurs with high cholesterol);
  • if you have not gone through menopause; or
  • if you have had breast cancer in the past.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take raloxifene.

Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category X. Although it is not likely that a postmenopausal woman would be pregnant, raloxifene can cause birth defects and should not be used during pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether raloxifene passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take raloxifene?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Raloxifene can be taken with or without food.

You may take raloxifene at any time of the day, but try to take it at the same time each day.

If your raloxifene tablets are packaged on blister cards, take the medication as follows:

  • Each blister card contains 15 tablets labeled with a different day of the week. The first tablet you use should be labeled with the day of the week your doctor has instructed you to start taking raloxifene.
  • If you have refilled your prescription and are starting a new blister pack, take the tablet that is labeled one day after you took your last dose.
  • Keep taking the medication one tablet per day, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
  • Try to take the medication at the same time each day.
  • The tablet in the center of the blister card should be the last tablet you take before starting a new card.
Multum emt

If you need to have any type of surgery or will be on bed rest, you will need to stop taking raloxifene for at least 72 hours before your surgery or before you plan to be immobile. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are taking raloxifene.

Raloxifene is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, calcium or vitamin D supplements, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

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Store raloxifene at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include leg cramps and dizziness.

What should I avoid while taking raloxifene?

Multum donot

If you take calcium supplements, do not take more than your doctor has prescribed. Taking more calcium than recommended will not provide extra protection for your bones, and may cause serious side effects including kidney stones.

Avoid sitting still for long periods of time during travel while you are taking raloxifene.

What are the possible side effects of raloxifene?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate;
  • pain or swelling in one or both legs;
  • swelling in your hands or feet;
  • fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • unusual vaginal bleeding;
  • breast pain, tenderness, or lump;
  • pain or burning when you urinate; or
  • severe pain in your lower back.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • hot flashes;
  • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • leg pain;
  • joint pain;
  • increased sweating;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain; or
  • runny or stuffy nose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect raloxifene?

Before taking raloxifene, talk to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • cholestyramine (Questran, Prevalite);
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); or
  • diazepam (Valium);
  • diazoxide (Proglycem); or
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with raloxifene. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about raloxifene.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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