What is this medication?
RALOXIFENE (ral OX i feen) prevents and treats osteoporosis after menopause. It works by making your bones stronger and less likely to break (fracture). It may also be used to lower the risk of breast cancer in people with osteoporosis or who are at high risk of breast cancer after menopause. It works by blocking the hormone estrogen in breast tissue, which prevents breast cancer cells from spreading or growing.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Evista
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Blood clots
- Heart disease or recent heart attack
- High cholesterol or triglycerides
- History of stroke
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Tobacco use
- An unusual or allergic reaction to raloxifene, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The tablets can be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
- Estrogen or progestin hormones
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Do not stop taking this medication except on the advice of your care team.
If you are taking this medication to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer, you should know that this medication does not prevent all types of breast cancer. Talk to your care team if you have questions.
This medication does not prevent hot flashes. It may cause hot flashes in some patients at the start of therapy.
You should make sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D while you are taking this medication. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your care team.
Exercise may help to prevent bone loss. Discuss your exercise needs with your care team.
This medication can rarely cause blood clots. If you are going to have surgery, tell your care team that you are taking this medication. This medication should be stopped at least 3 days before surgery. After surgery, it should be restarted only after you are walking again. It should not be restarted while you still need long periods of bed rest.
You should not smoke while taking this medication. Smoking may increase your risk of blood clots or stroke.
Talk to your care team if you wish to become pregnant or think you might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy.
Talk to your care team before breastfeeding. Changes to your treatment plan may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause, pelvic pain
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Hot flashes
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Raloxifene
- If you are experiencing hot flashes, wearing light clothing, staying in a cool environment, and putting cool cloths on your head may reduce symptoms. Consult your health care provider if these worsen, or become intolerable.
- For flu-like symptoms, keep warm with blankets and drink plenty of liquids. There are medications that can help reduce the discomfort caused by chills.
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help relieve discomfort from fever, headache and/or generalized aches and pains. However, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking it.
- Raloxifene causes little nausea. But if you should experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small frequent meals. Sucking on lozenges and chewing gum may also help.
- Make sure you exercise as often as possible. Light walking 4-5 times per week, for 20-30 minutes at a time will increase your energy level, decrease your chance of developing blood clots, and help strengthen your bones.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Seek emergency help immediately and notify your health care provider, it you experience the following symptoms:
- Sudden shortness of breath and/or chest pain
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
- Pain that is unrelieved with prescribed medication
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.