For the latest COVID information Click Here.
Updated April 2019 (v2)
Raloxifene (brand name Evista) is a medicine used to treat osteoporosis. It is prescribed only for women as it works on female hormones.
Osteoporosis is a common disease which causes bones to become fragile and brittle so that they break (fracture) more easily even as a result of normal activity (as distinct from a fall). Fractures are painful and restrict a person’s ability to carry out their normal daily tasks.
Once you have a fracture the risk of another is high. Raloxifene is prescribed for women who have already had a fracture in order to reduce the risk of further fractures.
For more information about OSTEOPOROSIS see the Osteoporosis Australia website http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/ or phone Osteoporosis Australia on 1800 242 141.
Bone is constantly changing with old bone breaking down and new bone being formed to take its place. This usually happens in a balanced way. If the cycle becomes unbalanced bone breaks down faster than it is replaced. This leads to osteoporosis.
Raloxifene is a medicine that slows or stops the bone breaking down. As a result bone strength increases and the risk of fracture is reduced.
Since osteoporosis doesn’t usually have any symptoms such as pain (until a fracture occurs) you will not ‘feel’ any immediate benefit from your treatment with raloxifene.
You may be asked to have tests to check the effect of treatment on your bones. For example a bone mineral density test is usually done after one to two years of treatment. This is a type of X-ray that involves a very small amount of radiation.
Tests of urine or blood are sometimes used to measure the effects of treatment on bone formation and breakdown.
Raloxifene is taken by mouth and comes in 60mg tablets. The dose is one tablet every day. It can be taken with or without food and at any time.
To help you remember to take raloxifene take it at about the same time each day.
If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at the same time.
It is safe to take most other medicines when you are taking raloxifene. However, it should not be taken with some other osteoporosis medicines (refer Precautions).
Your doctor will usually recommend that you take calcium and vitamin D as additional treatment for osteoporosis.
For osteoporosis, treatment with raloxifene is usually given for a number of years. Your doctor will review your progress each year. Once you have had one fracture your chance of having another one is high so it is important to keep taking the medicine as long as it is effective and as long as no serious side effects occur.
Most people who take raloxifene do not experience side effects. Tell your doctor if you are concerned about possible side effects.
A reduction in dose or change to another medicine may minimise the side effects so that you can continue to have treatment for your bones.
Most common side effects include:
Less common side effects include: