Raloxifene Hydrochloride (Evista®)
About This Drug
Raloxifene is used to treat and prevent osteoporosis and to decrease the risk of invasive breast cancer in women at high risk. It is given orally (by mouth).
Possible Side Effects
- Hot flashes or sudden skin flushing may happen. You may also feel warm or red.
- Increased sweating
- Flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue (low energy, feeling weak)
- Joint pain/aching
- Leg cramps
- Swelling in your legs, ankles, and/or feet
Note: Not all possible side effects are included above.
Warnings and Precautions
- Blood clots and events such as stroke and heart attack. A blood clot in your leg may cause your leg to swell, appear red and warm, and/or cause pain. A blood clot in your lungs may cause trouble breathing, pain when breathing, and/or chest pain.
- Stroke which can be life-threatening. Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of 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, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.
- You may need to hold raloxifene for 3 days prior to long period of restricted movements such as bed rest, long distance travel, due to the risk of blood clots. Talk to your doctor and/or nurse for precautions you may need to take.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is sometimes recommended. Talk to your doctor and/or nurse for dietary instructions.
How to Take Your Medication
- Swallow the medicine whole with or without food daily.
- Missed dose: If you miss or vomit a dose, contact your physician. Do not take 2 doses at the same time and do not double up on the next dose.
- Storage: Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature. Discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.
Treating Side Effects
- Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
- Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
Food and Drug Interactions
- There are no known interactions of raloxifene with food.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with raloxifene. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions.
- There are known interactions of raloxifene with blood thinning medicine such as warfarin. Ask your doctor what precautions you should take.
- Avoid the use of estrogen containing products while taking raloxifene.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
- Wheezing and/or trouble breathing
- Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
- Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, mostly on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden, bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
- Pain that does not go away, or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
- Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
- Your leg or arm is swollen, red, warm and/or painful
- If you think you may be pregnant
- Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Raloxifene should never be used by women of childbearing potential. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
- Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Raloxifene should never be used by breastfeeding women.
- Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug.
Revised August 2019
This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2019. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.
CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.