Raloxifene Tablets

Raloxifene is a medication that treats osteoporosis after menopause. Osteoporosis weakens your bones, making them more susceptible to sudden and unexpected fractures. This medication works by strengthening your bones. It can also lower your risk of developing breast cancer by blocking the estrogen hormone in your breast tissue.

What is this medication?

RALOXIFENE (ral OX i feen) prevents and treats osteoporosis after menopause. It works by making your bones stronger and less likely to break (fracture). It may also be used to lower the risk of breast cancer in people with osteoporosis or who are at high risk of breast cancer after menopause. It works by blocking the hormone estrogen in breast tissue, which prevents breast cancer cells from spreading or growing.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.



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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • A history of blood clots
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease or recent heart attack
  • High levels of triglycerides (blood fat) in the blood
  • History of stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Premenopausal
  • Smoke tobacco
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to raloxifene, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The tablets can be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Cholestyramine
  • Female hormones, like estrogens
  • Warfarin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Do not stop taking this medication except on the advice of your care team.

If you are taking this medication to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer, you should know that this medication does not prevent all types of breast cancer. Talk to your care team if you have questions.

This medication does not prevent hot flashes. It may cause hot flashes in some patients at the start of therapy.

You should make sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D while you are taking this medication. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your care team.

Exercise may help to prevent bone loss. Discuss your exercise needs with your care team.

This medication can rarely cause blood clots. If you are going to have surgery, tell your care team that you are taking this medication. This medication should be stopped at least 3 days before surgery. After surgery, it should be restarted only after you are walking again. It should not be restarted while you still need long periods of bed rest.

You should not smoke while taking this medication. Smoking may increase your risk of blood clots or stroke.

If you have any reason to think you are pregnant; stop taking this medication at once and contact your care team.

Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause, pelvic pain

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Hot flashes
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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