Evista, the popular drug for preventing osteoporosis (weakening of bone) in women, who have reached the age of menopause, contains raloxifene as its main ingredient. It’s available as tablets for oral consumption. This article discusses the usage, dosage, and side effects of this medicine to give you a better idea on when and how to use it.
What Is Raloxifene?
Raloxifene regulates the estrogen levels in the body and prevents osteoporosis and invasive breast cancer. However, the drug is only meant for women who have already entered menopause or have undergone hysterectomy (uterus removal).
Evista is just the brand name of raloxifene drug manufactured by a certain pharmaceutical company. Its patent has long expired and the drug is now available in public domain. Thus, you can now buy generic Evista (same formulation as branded Evista) under various other brand names at a much lower price. The usage and effectiveness however remain the same since there is no change in composition. While most of the manufactures choose to have their own brand names, others like RXShopMD sell it under the unpatented name, raloxifene, so that patients know what they are buying.
Indications: When Do You Need Evista Pills?
The medicine is prescribed for reducing the risk of developing postmenopausal osteoporosis in women and for reducing the post-surgery symptoms of hysterectomy. It is also used for preventing invasive breast cancer. However, you should consult a doctor before starting the medication, especially when there is a chance of possible contradiction to the pills. Your doctor may prescribe various tests to confirm that Evista medication is safe and suitable for you, and may make changes in your current medicines in order to rule out any risk of adverse interactions.
How Does Evista Work?
Evista attacks estrogen-sensitive membranes in your body and stimulates the production of globulins. This protein binds thyroxin, sex hormones, and corticosteroids, increasing their levels in your blood. Raloxifene ensures proper working of many postmenstrual processes, including bone resorption. It reduces the amount of calcium passed through urine, increases the bone tissue mass, and lowers the cholesterol levels.
Evista dosage may vary from patient to patient. Your doctor may prescribe you a specific dosage based upon your condition and risk factors. According to the standard instructions that come with the medicine, following is the recommended dosage:
- For osteoporosis, take a 60 mg tablet every day for a duration advised by your healthcare provider. For best results, you should combine the medicine with food rich in, or nutritional supplements of, calcium and vitamin D. Your body may be lacking in these components, and a supplement would help you adjust to this sudden change of metabolism.
- For preventing breast cancer, the recommended dosage is 60 mg in a single intake. The duration of the course is again as advised by your doctor. However, there aren’t any suggested vitamins or mineral supplements in this case.
Possible Side Effects and Complications
Mild side effects of Evista medication include dilation of blood vessels, swelling, and muscle cramps. There can also be some severe side effects such as pulmonary vein embolism, deep and retinal vein thrombosis (formation of blood clots), and thromboembolism (blockage of blood vessels due to clotting). Overdose increases the chances of severe side effects. Visit your doctor immediately if you experience any of the severe side effects.
Contraindications and Precautions
Raloxifene is contraindicated (you should not use this drug) in the following cases:
- If you are of childbearing age.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are allergic to any of its components.
- If you are suffering from or have ever suffered from thrombosis.
- If you suffer from or have a history of thromboembolism.
- If you suffer from pulmonary embolism.
- If you suffer from retinal or deep vein thrombosis.
- If you have a severe liver problem.