Raloxifene Side Effects
It is possible that some side effects of raloxifene may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.
For the Consumer
Applies to raloxifene: oral tablet
As well as its needed effects, raloxifene may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.
Stop taking raloxifene and get emergency help immediately if any of the following effects occur:Rare
- Coughing blood
- headache or migraine headache
- loss of or change in speech, coordination, or vision
- pain or numbness in chest, arm, or leg
- shortness of breath (unexplained)
If any of the following side effects occur while taking raloxifene, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:More common
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- chest pain
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- frequent urge to urinate
- infection, including body aches or pain, congestion in throat, cough, dryness or soreness of throat, runny nose, and loss of voice
- leg cramping
- skin rash
- swelling of hands, ankles, or feet
- vaginal itching
- Abdominal pain (severe)
- aching body pains
- congestion in lungs
- decreased vision or other changes in vision
- difficulty in breathing
- loss of appetite
- trouble in swallowing
Some raloxifene side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:More common
- Hot flashes, including sudden sweating and feelings of warmth (especially common during the first 6 months of treatment)
- increased white vaginal discharge
- joint or muscle pain
- mental depression
- problems of stomach or intestines, including passing of gas, upset stomach, or vomiting
- swollen joints
- trouble in sleeping
- weight gain (unexplained)
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to raloxifene: oral tablet
General side effects have included infection (11% to 15%), flu syndrome (15%), and abdominal pain (7%). The most common general side effects were hot flashes (25%) and leg cramps (6%). Hot flashes or flushes tended to occur during the first six months of therapy.
Raloxifene should be discontinued at least 72 hours prior to and during periods of immobilization. Therapy should be resumed only after the patient is fully ambulatory. Patients should be advised to avoid prolonged restrictions of movement during travel. The use of raloxifene in women predisposed to thromboembolic disease, such as women with congestive heart failure and malignancy, should be carefully considered.
A large (7,705 women), 3.3 year study reported raloxifene was associated with an increased risk for venous thromboembolism (relative risk 2.1, 95% confidence interval 1.2-3.8)
Cardiovascular side effects have included decreased fibrinogen 12% (versus 2% with estrogen) and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 2% (versus 9% with estrogen). However, analysis of clinical study data revealed an increased risk of venous thromboembolic events, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and retinal vein thrombosis associated with use of raloxifene. The greatest risk of these events occurs within the first four months of treatment.
Chest pain occurred in 4% of raloxifene treated patients.
Genitourinary side effects have included vaginal bleeding (6% versus HRT 64%), vaginitis (4%), UTI (4%), cystitis (3%), leukorrhea (3%), endometrial disorder (uterine-related) (3%), and breast pain (4% versus HRT 38%).
Endometrial proliferation or an increased risk of breast cancer has not been reported with raloxifene.
Dermatologic side effects have included rash (6%) and sweating (3%).
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (9%), vomiting (3%), dyspepsia (6%), flatulence (2% to 3%), GI disorder (3%), and gastroenteritis (3%).
Metabolic effects of raloxifene therapy have resulted in a less positive effect on lipids than conjugated estrogen. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is increased 15% (versus 33% with estrogen). Lipoprotein (a) is decreased 7% (versus 19% with estrogen). Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is decreased 12% (versus 14% with estrogen.
Limited clinical data suggest that women with a history of marked hypertriglyceridemia (>5.6 mmol/L or >500 mg/dL) in response to treatment with oral estrogen or estrogen plus progestin may develop increased levels of triglycerides when treated with raloxifene.
Metabolic side effects have included weight gain (9%) and peripheral edema (3%).
Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia (11%), myalgia (8%), leg cramps (6%), and arthritis (4%).
Nervous system side effects have included depression (6%), insomnia (6%) and fever (3%), hot flashes (25% to 29% versus HRT 3% and placebo 18%), and migraine headaches (2%).
Respiratory side effects have included sinusitis (10%), pharyngitis (8%), cough increased (6%), pneumonia (3%), and laryngitis (2%).
Ocular side effects have included very rare reports of retinal vein occlusion.
More about raloxifene
- Other brands: Evista
Related treatment guides
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.