Raloxifene

Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

When a woman reaches menopause, the levels of the female sex hormone, estrogen, decreases. The decrease in estrogen may also cause the bones to become thinner, weaker and easier to break, causing a condition called osteoporosis.

Raloxifene belongs to a group of non-hormonal medicines called Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs). Raloxifene is used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women by mimicking some of the helpful effects of estrogen after menopause.  

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.
  • You may take this medication with or without food.
  • You should take one tablet daily, preferably at the same time every day.
  • You may take it together with calcium and vitamin D supplements, as prescribed by your doctor.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You have not been through menopause yet
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You have a history of or current medical conditions such as liver problems, kidney problems, stroke, heart disease, blood clots or cancer
  • You have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • You are, or know you will be unable to move around for some time, e.g., being wheel-chair bound or having to stay in bed while recovering from an operation or illness.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

Side effects tend to occur at the beginning of treatment and goes away as the treatment goes. Inform your doctor if these side effects become bothersome.
  • Hot flushes 
    • Wear loose fitting clothes or go to areas with air conditioner. 
  • Flu-like symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose and sore throat
  • Leg cramps
  • Swelling of hands, feet and legs 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
    • Take the medication after food to reduce these side effects
  • Headache
    • You may take Paracetamol to manage headaches
  • Mild breast discomfort such as pain, enlargement and tenderness

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

This medication may cause blood clots to form. However, this is rare and the doctor would have evaluated and weighed its benefits over risks before prescribing the medication for you.
The symptoms of blood clot include one or more of the following: 
  • Any unusual sudden cough, breathlessness or difficulty in breathing
  • Severe pain in the chest which may reach the left arm
  • Severe pain in legs or swelling in either of your legs
  • Weakness or numbness in any part of your body
  • Change in your speech, including slurring of words
  • Change in your senses of hearing, smell or taste
  • Vision changes such as loss of vision/ blurred vision
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Some medications may affect how Raloxifene works or be affected by Raloxifene. These include blood thinners such as warfarin, cholesterol medications such as cholestyramine and hormone-replacement therapy (HRT).  Please inform other healthcare professionals that you are taking Raloxifene if you are seeing them for other medical conditions.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin. 


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last reviewed on August 2019

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Raloxifene

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