Generic Name: raloxifene, Oral tablet

Generic Name:

raloxifene, Oral tablet

Evista

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  • Evista
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Highlights for raloxifene

Oral tablet
1

Raloxifene is an oral medicine that’s used to treat and prevent osteoporosis (weakening of your bones) and to prevent certain aggressive breast cancers.

2

The standard dose is 60 mg taken by mouth once per day.

3

Common side effects include hot flashes, leg cramps, swelling of your legs (peripheral edema), flu-like syndrome, joint pain, and sweating.

4

Serious and life-threatening side effects can occur while taking raloxifene. These include blood clots and stroke. These conditions can be fatal.

5

You shouldn’t take raloxifene if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or haven’t gone through menopause yet (premenopausal). You also shouldn’t take it if you currently have or have a history of blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes. Taking raloxifene may increase your risk of blood clots.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects. 

Blood clots and stroke warning: Serious and life-threatening blood clots and stroke can occur while you’re taking raloxifene:

  • You may have an increased risk of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and lungs (pulmonary embolism) when you take raloxifene. Women who currently have or have a history of blood clots in their legs, lungs, or eyes shouldn’t take this drug.
  • Women who’ve had a heart attack or are at risk for a heart attack may have a higher chance of dying from stroke when taking raloxifene.

Blood clots warning

Don’t take raloxifene if you have or have a history of blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes. Taking raloxifene may increase your risk of blood clots.

Childbearing age warning

Don’t take this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Raloxifene could harm your unborn child. You also shouldn’t take it if you’re breastfeeding or haven’t gone through menopause yet (premenopausal).

Risk for men

Men shouldn’t take this drug, because its use hasn’t been studied well in men.

Drug Features

Raloxifene is prescription a drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Raloxifene is available in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand.  Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you. 

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.

Why It's Used

Raloxifene is used to lower the risk of invasive breast cancer.

More Details

How It Works

Raloxifene belongs to a class of medications called a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM).

More Details

Why It's Used

Raloxifene is used to lower the risk of invasive breast cancer.

If you have osteoporosis or are at high risk for breast cancer, raloxifene can be used to lower your risk of getting invasive breast cancer. This drug won’t completely take away your risk of getting breast cancer.

Raloxifene is also used for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.

How It Works

Raloxifene belongs to a class of medications called a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM). A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Estrogen can increase the growth of breast cancer cells. Raloxifene reduces the risk of breast cancer by blocking estrogen in breast cells.

Decreases in estrogen levels during menopause can decrease bone strength and lead to osteoporosis. In bones, raloxifene acts like estrogen, decreasing the rate of bone cell turnover and increasing bone mineral density. This makes your bones stronger and less likely to break.

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raloxifene Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with raloxifene include:

  • hot flashes

  • leg cramps

  • swelling of your legs (peripheral edema)

  • flu-like syndrome. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • chills
  • joint pain

  • sweating

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • blood clots in your legs (deep vein thrombosis) and lungs (pulmonary embolism). Symptoms may include:

    • pain in leg muscles
    • swelling, warmth, and/or tenderness in legs
    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
  • stroke. Symptoms include:

    • sudden weakness in one part or side of your body
    • slurred speech
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Raloxifene doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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raloxifene May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Raloxifene can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Drug for high cholesterol
  • cholestyramine

Taking this drug with raloxifene isn’t recommended because it reduces the effectiveness of raloxifene.

Blood thinner
  • warfarin

Raloxifene can affect how warfarin clots your blood. Your doctor will check how quickly your blood clots when starting or stopping raloxifene. Your dose of warfarin may be adjusted.

Anxiety drug
  • diazepam

Raloxifene can increase the effects of this drug.

Drug for low blood sugar
  • diazoxide

Raloxifene can increase the effects of this drug.

Drug to decrease pain sensations
  • lidocaine

Raloxifene can increase the effects of this drug.

Estrogens
  • conjugated estrogens
  • ethinyl estradiol (in birth control pills)

The safety of estrogens while using raloxifene hasn’t been established. Don’t take these drugs together.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with kidney problems

The safety and effectiveness of raloxifene hasn’t been determined in people with kidney problems. Raloxifene should be used with caution if you have kidney problems.

People with liver problems

This drug is processed by your liver. If you have poor liver function, you won’t be able to clear this drug from your body as well as you should. This could cause the drug to build up in your body, which may cause more side effects. Raloxifene should be used with caution if you have liver problems.

People who had high cholesterol while on estrogen

Raloxifene might increase triglyceride levels in some patients. If you’ve had a high increase in triglycerides when taking estrogen in the past, your triglyceride levels should be monitored while taking raloxifene.

People with a history of breast cancer

Raloxifene hasn’t been fully studied in women who have a history of breast cancer.

Pregnant women

Raloxifene is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if raloxifene passes through breast milk. If it does, it will cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You shouldn’t use raloxifene if you’re breastfeeding. You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take raloxifene or breastfeed.

For seniors

Older adults may process this drug more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal. You may need a lower dose or you may need a different dosing schedule.

For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years old.

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How to Take raloxifene (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Lower the risk of invasive breast cancer
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 60 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

60 mg taken by mouth once per day.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been established.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process this drug more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal. You may need a lower dose or you may need a different dosing schedule.

Special Considerations

People with liver disease: Take this drug with caution if you have liver disease. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your liver function to make sure this medication isn’t harming you.

People with kidney disease: Take this drug with caution if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your liver/kidney function to make sure this medication isn’t harming you and to see if your dosage needs to be reduced.

Treatment and prevention of osteoporosis
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 60 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

60 mg taken by mouth once per day.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been established.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process this drug more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal. You may need a lower dose or you may need a different dosing schedule.

Special Considerations

People with liver disease: Take this drug with caution if you have liver disease. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your liver function to make sure this medication isn’t harming you.

People with kidney disease: Take this drug with caution if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your liver/kidney function to make sure this medication isn’t harming you and to see if your dosage needs to be reduced.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Raloxifene comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Take Too Much

If you take too much raloxifene, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • blood clots in your legs (deep vein thrombosis) and lungs (pulmonary embolism). Symptoms may include:
    • pain in leg muscles
    • swelling, warmth, and/or tenderness in legs
    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
  • stroke. Symptoms may include:
    • sudden weakness in one part or side of your body
    • slurred speech

Go to the emergency room or call poison control right away if you think that you’ve taken too much raloxifene.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours before the time for your next dose, then only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two tablets at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

Your doctor may be able to tell you if this drug is working based on the results of your lab work.

Raloxifene can be a short-term or long-term drug.

Keep taking it for as long as your doctor tells you to. It isn’t known how long you should keep taking raloxifene to lower your chance of invasive breast cancers.

Important Considerations for Taking Raloxifene

Store raloxifene from 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Don’t freeze this drug.

Keep it away from light and high temperatures.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to clearly identify the medication.
  • Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

Before you start and during treatment with raloxifene, your doctor will monitor your:

  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • cholesterol levels, especially triglycerides
  • breast exam (mammogram)
  • bone density test (DEXA scan)

Insurance

Raloxifene usually doesn’t require a prior authorization from insurance companies, but check with your insurance to be sure that it’s covered.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does raloxifene Cost?

Oral tablet
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Lowest price for raloxifene

Walgreens $86.94
Rite-Aid $93.04
Membership warehouse $94.96
These represent the lowest cash prices for raloxifene and may be lower than your insurance.

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These represent the lowest cash prices for raloxifene and may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

  • InvaGen Pharmaceuticals. (2014, September). Raloxifene [package insert].

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on July 10, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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