Sounds like 'ral-OX-i-feen'

Raloxifene is used to prevent or treat thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Raloxifene is also called Evista.

What is raloxifene used for?

Raloxifene is used to prevent or treat thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) in women who have already been through menopause (postmenopausal women). Read more about osteoporosis.

Raloxifene is also used to lower chances of having certain type of breast cancer (invasive breast cancer) in women after menopause. 

How does raloxifene work?

When a woman reaches menopause, the level of the oestrogen hormone goes down. Raloxifene is not an oestrogen hormone but it works by copying the positive effects of oestrogen. It works to slow down bone loss and helps to keep bones strong, making them less likely to break.


In Aotearoa New Zealand raloxifene is available as 60 mg tablets.

  • The dose of raloxifene is one tablet once daily
  • Always take your raloxifene exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much raloxifene to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take raloxifene

  • Swallow your raloxifene tablet with a glass of water (200–250 mLs).
  • You can take your raloxifene tablet with or without food.
  • Take your raloxifene dose at about the same time each day.
  • Missed dose: If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
  • Calcium supplement: If you are taking raloxifene for osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend that you take calcium if you do not get enough calcium from your diet. Read more about calcium.

Precautions when taking raloxifene

Raloxifene can interact with some medications, herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new products.

Precautions before taking raloxifene

  • Have you ever had a blood clot in your vein?
  • Do you have endometrial cancer?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Do you have problems with your kidney or liver?
  • Are you taking any medicines especially combined hormonal contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy?
  • Are you taking any over-the-counter or complementary medicines, eg, vitamins, minerals, herbal or rongoā Māori?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you take raloxifene. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

​What are the side effects of raloxifene?

Like all medicines, raloxifene can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Hot flushes
  • Symptoms that feel like the flu, eg, body aches and pains, sore throat, cough, runny nose 
  • These are quite common when you first start taking raloxifene.
  • Tell your doctor if they bother you.
  • Leg cramps or muscle spasms
  • Swollen ankles, feet or hands 
  • Tell your doctor if they bother you.
  • Signs of a blood clot such as pain, swelling, redness or warmth in the leg or arm, chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, or sudden changes in your eyesight such as blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116.
For more information on side effects, see the Medsafe consumer information leaflet Evista 

Did you know that you can report a medicine side effect to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM)? Report a side effect to a product.

Learn more

Evista Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet


Raloxifene NZ Formulary
 Medsafe, NZ

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Maya Patel, Pharmacist Last reviewed: 04 Feb 2022