Evista (Raloxifene)

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    Evista (Raloxifene) Dosage and Side Effects

    EVISTA is the brand name of the prescription drug raloxifene, used to treat and prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It's also given to lower the chances of developing invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high-risk for, or who have, osteoporosis.

    EVISTA (raloxifene) is in a class of medicines known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). The drug treats and prevents osteoporosis by mimicking the effects of the hormone estrogen, which increases bone density. It lowers the risk of breast cancer by blocking the effects of estrogen on breast tissue.

    Warnings and Precautions

    Before starting EVISTA and to get the best possible treatment, be sure to tell your doctor if you:
    • are pregnant, breast feeding, still have menstrual bleeds, or have had a menstrual bleed in the last year, as EVISTA is only for postmenopausal women.

    • have had an allergic reaction to any medicine you have taken.

    • are intolerant to lactose because EVISTA contains lactose.

    • have or ever had liver problems.

    • have or ever had blood clots in the veins. If you take warfarin (blood thinner) or other coumarin derivatives, EVISTA may not be suitable for you. EVISTA is contraindicated in women with an active or past history of blood clots in the veins. If you are taking the blood thinners for other reasons your doctor may need to check your prothrombin (blood clotting) time and adjust your medicine when you first begin taking EVISTA.

    • are currently on any other medications, prescription or non prescription.

    • have had a stroke or have a history of other significant risk factors for stroke, such as a “mini-stroke” (TIA/transient ischemic attack), or a type of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).

    Being immobile for a long time can increase the risk of blood clots in the veins. EVISTA may add to this risk. If while taking EVISTA you plan to be immobile, such as staying in bed after surgery, or taking a long plane trip, you should stop taking EVISTA at least 3 days before, to reduce your risk of blood clots in the veins. When you are back on your feet, you may start taking EVISTA again.

    Side Effects

    During clinical trials, some women did have mild side effects however most women did not find these side effects serious enough to stop taking EVISTA. The most common side effects of EVISTA are:

    • hot flashes

    • leg cramps

    Another common side effect is flu-like symptoms.

    Similar to estrogen replacements, EVISTA may increase the risk of blood clots in the veins. Although this is an uncommon side effect, if you experience any of the following unusual symptoms talk to your doctor immediately:

    • redness, swelling, heat or pain in your calves and legs

    • sudden chest pain or shortness of breath

    • a sudden change in your vision

    EVISTA is not associated with adverse effects on the uterus, breast, or mental function. Therefore, any unexplained uterine bleeding, breast enlargement, breast pain, change in mood or deterioration of mental function should be reported to your doctor.

    Interactions with this medication

    You should always tell your doctor about all drugs you are taking or plan to take before starting to take EVISTA.

    The effect of EVISTA is significantly reduced if taken with cholestyramine (products which contain cholestyramine include Questran, Questran Light, Alti-Cholestyramine Light, Novo-Cholamine, Novo-Cholamine Light, PMS-Cholestryramine). Therefore, you should not take cholestyramine while taking EVISTA.

    It is not recommended that you combine EVISTA with hormone replacement therapy (ERT or HRT) since no studies have been done to look at the effectiveness or safety of this combination.

    During clinical trials, EVISTA was taken with commonly prescribed medications such as acetaminophen, digoxin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and oral antibiotics with no observed problems. However, because each patient is different, you should always check with your doctor before taking any other medication.

    Proper Use of this medication

    Usual dose:

    Take one EVISTA 60 mg tablet, once-a-day, any time, with or without food. EVISTA comes in a 28-day blister pack that you start as soon as you fill your prescription. Each day of the week is printed above each tablet to make it easy to check if you've taken your pill that day.

    You might find it helpful to take your tablet at the same time every day so that it's simply part of your routine. The efficacy of EVISTA is dependent upon your taking it regularly. Therefore, you should keep taking EVISTA until your doctor advises you otherwise.

    Overdose:

    If you take too much EVISTA, immediately contact your doctor or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Show the doctor your blister pack of tablets. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

    For management of a suspected drug overdose, contact your regional Poison Control Centre.

    Missed dose:

    If you miss a day of EVISTA take one pill as soon as you remember and resume one tablet once daily. Do not take two doses at the same time.

    Other related products

    The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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