Raloxifene: What is it? How to Use, Side Effects and Precautions

It is a medicine used by women to prevent and treat bone loss (osteoporosis) after menopause.

It decreases bone loss and helps maintain strong bones, making it less likely to break.

Raloxifene may also lower your chances of getting a certain type of breast cancer (invasive breast cancer) after menopause .

Raloxifene is not an estrogen hormone, but it acts like estrogen in some parts of the body, like your bones. In other parts of the body (uterus and sinuses), raloxifene acts as an estrogen blocker.

It does not relieve the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes. Raloxifene belongs to a class of medications known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM).

This medicine should not be used before menopause. Also, it should not be used to prevent heart disease.

How to use

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking raloxifene and each time you buy it again. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time every day.

Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Consult your doctor or pharmacist to see if you need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Because this medicine can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and can harm an unborn baby, pregnant or pregnant women should not take this medicine or breathe the powder from the tablets.

Side effects

Hot flushes or leg cramps may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Seek medical attention immediately if you have very serious side effects, which include:

Signs of a blood clot such as:

  • Pain.
  • Inflammation.
  • Redness
  • Sudden heat in the leg or arm.
  • Chest pain.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Cough with blood.
  • Sudden vision
  • Changes like blurred vision.
  • Loss of vision

Signs of a stroke:

  • Weakness on one side of the body.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Sudden changes in vision.
  • Confusion.

A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is rare

However, seek medical attention immediately if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, which includes:

  • Eruption.
  • Itch.
  • Swelling (especially on the face / tongue / throat).
  • Intense dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not mentioned above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before taking raloxifene, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Consult your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • Blood clots (including those in the legs / lungs / eyes).
  • Stroke.
  • Heart disease (blocked blood vessels in the heart), heart attack , high cholesterol, irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure , smoking, kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure , cancer, high levels of blood fat (triglycerides ).

Tell your doctor if you have just had surgery or if you are confined to a bed or chair for a long time (such as a long plane flight).

These conditions increase the risk of developing blood clots, especially if you are using raloxifene. You may need to stop this medication for a time or take special precautions.

This medicine should not be used during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.

It is not known if this medicine passes into breast milk. It is not recommended to breast-feed while using this medication. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.