Taking raloxifene may increase the risk that you will develop a blood clot in your legs or lungs. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a blood clot in your legs, lungs, or eyes. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take raloxifene. Stop taking raloxifene and call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: leg pain; feeling of warmth in the lower leg; swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs; sudden chest pain; shortness of breath; coughing up blood; or sudden changes in vision, such as loss of vision or blurred vision.
Remaining still for a long time may increase the chance that you will develop a blood clot. Your doctor will probably tell you to stop taking raloxifene at least three days before a scheduled surgery and not to take the medication if you require an extended period of bed rest for any reason. If you will be having surgery, be sure to tell your doctor that you are taking raloxifene. If you travel while you are taking raloxifene, avoid remaining still (such as sitting in an airplane or car) for long periods of time during your trip.
If you have coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries that lead to the heart that may cause chest pain or heart attacks) or if you are at high risk of developing coronary artery disease, taking raloxifene may increase the chance that you will have a serious or fatal stroke. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a stroke or mini-stroke, if you smoke, and if you have or have ever had high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with raloxifene and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs ) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Raloxifene is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis (condition in which the bones become thin and weak and break easily) in women who have undergone menopause (change of life; end of menstrual periods). Raloxifene is also used to decrease the risk of developing invasive breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread outside of the milk ducts or lobules into the surrounding breast tissue) in women who are at high risk of developing this type of cancer or who have osteoporosis. Raloxifene cannot be used to treat invasive breast cancer or to prevent invasive breast cancer from coming back in women who have already had the condition. Raloxifene also cannot be used to decrease the risk of developing non-invasive breast cancer. Raloxifene is in a class of medications called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). Raloxifene prevents and treats osteoporosis by mimicking the effects of estrogen (a female hormone produced by the body) to increase the density (thickness) of bone. 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.
How should this medicine be used?
Raloxifene comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take raloxifene at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take raloxifene exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take raloxifene even if you feel well. Do not stop taking raloxifene without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking raloxifene,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
You should eat and drink plenty of foods and drinks that are rich in calcium and vitamin D while you are taking raloxifene. Your doctor will tell you which foods and drinks are good sources of these nutrients and how many servings you need each day. If you find it difficult to eat enough of these foods or if you have a condition that makes it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients that you eat, tell your doctor. In that case, your doctor can prescribe or recommend a supplement.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Raloxifene may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: