Raloxifene - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Raloxifene: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Raloxifene?

Raloxifene is an anti-estrogenic medicine used to manage and prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, which happens due to estrogen activity or old age-related deterioration. It has a bone density conservative action as it keeps bones intact and unbroken and inhibits bone loss.

It also reduces the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or at elevated risk of invasive breast cancer. Furthermore, it does not have any significant effect on changing the advancement of breast cancer itself. 

This drug is not suggested in premenopausal women, kids, and men.

What are the uses of Raloxifene?

Raloxifene is used for the treatment and management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It prevents the proliferation of invasive breast cancer and osteoporosis in high-risk groups.

This medication reduces the chances of developing invasive breast cancer in women with susceptible risk.

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What are the side effects of Raloxifene?

Raloxifene can have severe effects such as insomnia, bronchitis, cramps and muscle spasms, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, joint pain, sweating, and vaginal irritation.

The common side effects are swelling of limbs, hot flashes, sweating, diarrhea, nausea, weight gain, and muscle pain.


Frequently Asked Questions about Raloxifene

1. Does Raloxifene cause weight gain?

Yes. Weight gain is one of the common side effects of Raloxifene. Although weight gain can occur on the administration of this medication, it may be overcome by a shorter average duration of therapy on Raloxifene.

2. Is Raloxifene a bisphosphonate?

No. Raloxifene is a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM). Bisphosphonate is a different drug category that is also used to prevent and treat postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Raloxifene therapy results in a better health profile than bisphosphonates. The risk of new osteoporotic fractures is also lesser than bisphosphonates.

3. Can Raloxifene cause cancer?

No. Raloxifene does not act like estrogen in other body parts such as the uterus and breasts and does not cause an increased risk of uterine cancer.
It benefits as an estrogen agonist in bones and lipid metabolism and as an estrogen antagonist in the uterus and breasts without yielding negative effects.

4. How long does it take for raloxifene to work?

It takes around 8 weeks or 2 months to produce its action. It should be taken as advised by the doctor. You can take it with or without food. Any adverse effects should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible.

5. How does raloxifene increase lipid metabolism?

Raloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator and showcases estrogen-like activity on lipid metabolism. It enhances concentrations of both cholesterol and beta-lipoprotein. The overall lipid and lipoprotein levels in women with high lipid profiles are lowered with raloxifene.

6. Is Raloxifene antiresorptive?

Yes. In postmenopausal women, estrogen deficiency affects bone cells survival as well as impairs their response to mechanical stimuli and repair of aging bone. Raloxifene acts as an estrogen agonist and represses bone remodeling to the premenopausal range, conserving the function of the bone cells. Thus, bone resorption and degradation are prevented.

7. Is Raloxifene an estrogen blocker?

It is a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator.
Raloxifene acts as an estrogen agonist as well as an estrogen antagonist depending on the target tissue. Its antiestrogenic activity in the breast and uterus prevents the formation of tumors. In contrast, its estrogenic action helps in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

8. What is the difference between Tamoxifen and Raloxifene?

Tamoxifen and Raloxifene are Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators. Both of these drugs block estrogen in breast cells and are useful in lowering breast cancer.
Tamoxifen is used primarily to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer where the cancer cells have estrogen and/or progesterone receptors on them.
Raloxifene is used mostly to prevent and treat breast cancers in case of osteoporosis (weak, porous bones) in older postmenopausal women. Studies have proved that Raloxifene is about 76 percent as effective as Tamoxifen in reducing the risk for invasive breast cancer over almost 7 years.

9. How long should you be on Raloxifene?

Osteoporosis is a chronic disease at risk of invasive breast cancer. Raloxifene therapy is intended to be used for long-term treatment for more than three years.
Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend that you take the drug for a longer or shorter amount of time.

10. Is raloxifene better than Fosamax?

Fosamax is the drug brand for Alendronate. It has antiresorptive action with a different mechanism of action than Raloxifene. In postmenopausal women with low bone density, Fosamax has proved substantially better in improving bone mineral density and markers of bone turnover as compared to Raloxifene.

Consult our experts for further information on Raloxifene and its use.



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      1. Pharmacological properties: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Raloxifene
      2. Antiresorptive activity: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15106819/
      3. Frequently Asked Questions: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15049885/

      Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.