Raloxifene (Generic Name)

Other names: Evista

About this drug

Raxoifene is a drug that affects the action of estrogen in your body. It is given by mouth. This drug may be used to:

  • Reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in post-menopausal women at high risk for invasive breast cancer
  • Treat and prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women

Possible side effects

  • Blood clots. There is an increased risk of blood clots in leg veins and in the lungs. Symptoms of blood clots in the leg vein may include pain, redness, warmth, and/or swelling in the thigh, calf, or ankle area. Symptoms of blood clots in the lungs may include chest pain, sharp pain when taking a breath, difficulty breathing, increased cough, coughing up blood or bloody spit, and/or increased weakness.
  • Stroke (rare).Women who have had a heart attack or are at risk for a heart attack may have an increased risk of dying from a stroke. Symptoms of a stroke may include:
      • Sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body
      • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
      • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
      • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
      • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Leg cramps and joint pains
  • Swelling (fluid retention) in the legs, ankles, and/or feet
  • Symptoms of menopause. Flushing (“hot flashes”), sweating, vaginal discharge, dryness and irritation around the vagina, and/or mood swings may occur.
  • Flu syndrome
  • This drug may have harmful effects on an unborn child. This drug should be used only by post-menopausal women.

Treating side effects

  • Regular gynecologic checkups that include a clinical breast exam and mammogram are important.
  • Being still for a long time (such as during long trips or being in bed after surgery) can increase the risk of blood clots. This drug may add to this risk. If you will need to be still for a long time, talk with your doctor or nurse about ways to reduce the risk of blood clots. On long trips, move around periodically. Stop taking this drug at least 3 days before a planned surgery or before you plan on being still for a long time. You should start taking this drug again when you return to your normal activities.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse to suggest ways to lessen the effects of hot flashes, sweating, and other menopausal symptoms.
  • Vaginal lubricants that are water-based can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.

Food and drug interactions

There are no known interactions of raloxifene with any food. It may be taken with or without food. Try to take it the same time each day.

Raloxifene may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown.

When to call the doctor

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you have:

  • Signs or symptoms of a stroke which may include:
      • Sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body
      • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
      • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
      • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
      • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Pain in your chest
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing or spitting up bloody mucus
  • Pain, redness, warmth, and/or swelling in the thigh, calf, or ankle area

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Changes in your vision
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Sweating and/or hot flashes that interfere with normal activities
  • Mood swings
  • Weakness

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