GENERIC NAME: raloxifene
BRAND NAME: Evista
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Estrogen is a hormone which among other actions, regulates the turnover (formation and destruction) of bone. Decreases in estrogen levels that are seen after menopause or after removal of the ovaries, lead to a loss of bone density and weakened bones, a condition called osteoporosis. Raloxifene decreases bone turnover and increases bone density although not to the same extent as estrogen itself. This makes bones stronger and prevents fractures in women with osteoporosis. Raloxifene is called a "selective estrogen receptor modulator" since it has effects like estrogen on some tissues but inhibits the effects of estrogen on other tissues. Raloxifene decreases low density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in the blood; however, unlike estrogen, raloxifene does not increase high density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol. The FDA approved raloxifene in December 1997.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of raloxifene are:
- hot flashes,
- weight gain,
- muscle pain,
- leg cramps, and
- ankle swelling.
Quick GuideOsteoporosis Pictures Slideshow: Are Your Bones at Risk?
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