Last Modified: March 11, 2012
Classification: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator
Raloxifene is in a class of medications called selective estrogen receptor modulators or SERMs. Most breast cancers need supplies of estrogen (a female hormone produced by the body) to grow. Raloxifene decreases the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by blocking the effects of estrogen on breast tissue. This may stop the development of tumors that need estrogen to grow. Raloxifene also prevents and treats osteoporosis by mimicking the effects of estrogen to increase the density (thickness) of bone.
Raloxifene comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. It is important to remember to take this medication everyday to get the maximum benefit from taking it. Your healthcare provider may want you to take calcium and vitamin D with this medication to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
There are a number of things you can do to manage the side effects of Raloxifene. Talk to your doctor or nurse about these recommendations. They can help you decide what will work best for you. These are some of the most common side effects:
Signs of a blood clot in the leg may include any of the following: leg pain or feeling of warmth, swelling of one leg more than the other. Signs of a blood clot in the lung could include: fever, shortness of breath that comes on very quickly, racing heart, chest pain (that tends to be worse when you take a deep breath).
If you have any of these signs or symptoms of blood clots, you will need to be seen immediately so that you can be treated. Blood thinners can be given.
Exposure of an unborn child to this medication could cause birth defects, so you should not become pregnant or father a child while on this medication. Effective birth control is necessary during treatment, even if your menstrual cycle stops or you believe your sperm is affected.
Other reported side effects include: