Raloxifene

Sounds like 'ral-OX-i-feen'

Easy-to-read medicine information about raloxifene – what is it, how to take raloxifene safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicineAlso called
  • Belongs to a class of medicines called non-hormonal selective oestrogen receptor modulators OR selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)
  • Evista®

What is raloxifene?

  • Raloxifene is used to prevent or treat thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) in women who have already had their menopause (postmenopausal women).
  • It slows down bone loss and helps to keep bones strong, making them less likely to break. 
  • Raloxifene is also used to lower chances of having certain type of breast cancer (invasive breast cancer) in women after menopause. 
  • Raloxifene is not an oestrogen hormone, but it acts like oestrogen in some parts of the body, like your bones. In other parts of the body (uterus and breasts), raloxifene acts like an oestrogen blocker.
  • It does not relieve menopause symptoms such as hot flushes. 
  • Raloxifene is available as tablets.

Dose

  • The dose of raloxifene is 60 milligrams once daily.
  • Always take your raloxifene exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much raloxifene to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take raloxifene

  • Swallow your raloxifene tablet with a glass of water.
  • You can take your raloxifene tablet with or without food.
  • Take your raloxifene dose at about the same time each day.
  • If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
  • If you are taking raloxifene for osteoporosis, your doctor will usually recommend that you take calcium and vitamin D as additional treatment for osteoporosis.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, raloxifene can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effectsWhat should I do?
  • Hot flushes
  • Symptoms that feel like the flu such as body aches and pains, sore throat, cough, runny nose 
  • These are quite common when you first start taking raloxifene.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Leg cramps or muscle spasms
  • Swollen ankles, feet or hands 
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Signs of a blood clot such as pain, swelling, redness or warmth in the leg or arm, chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, sudden changes in your eyesight such as blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pain in the tummy (abdomen)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116

Interactions

Raloxifene can interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

Evista Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet

 

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Last reviewed: 03 May 2016