Raloxifene (Evista): Reducing Breast Cancer Risk In Postmenopausal Women

EvistaThe FDA has approved raloxifene HCl (Evista, Eli Lilly) for reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis and in postmenopausal women at high risk for invasive breast cancer. As a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), raloxifene may act by blocking estrogen receptors in the breast.

In 1997, the FDA approved generic raloxifene for preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women; in 1999, it was ap proved for treating osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

Because the drug can cause serious side effects, its benefits and risks should be carefully evaluated. It is not indicated for women with current or prior blood clots in the legs, lungs, or eyes; pre-menopausal women; and women who are or might become pregnant. The drug should not be taken with the cholesterol-lowering agent cholestyramine or with estrogens.

Raloxifene drug does not completely prevent breast cancer. Breast examinations and mammograms should be completed before women begin taking the drug and regularly thereafter.

Sources: FDA, September 14, 2007