Evista – Information, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage


Drug Trade Name: Evista

Category: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM)

Generic Name: raloxifene hydrochloride

Introduction and Quick Information:


SERM group of drugs have an estrogenic and anti-estrogenic action which varies with the tissue. Evista has an anti-estrogenic action in breast & uterus and a partial estrogenic action in bone and heart. On reaching menopause, hormonal alterations predispose a woman to osteoporosis and breast cancer.

Inside the bone, Evista mimics the female hormone, estrogen by acting on estrogen receptors. By doing so, it affects the bone turnover and reduces the bone damage. On the other hand, inside the breast, it acts as an estrogen antagonist, thus preventing the risk of developing invasive breast cancer. 

Is Evista Approved by FDA?

Yes, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved Evista to prevent osteoporosis and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Usage and Benefits of Evista:

Evista is mainly indicated in following clinical scenarios:

  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis or “porous bone” is a disorder characterized by bone thinning (low bone mass), which further results in fragile bones prone to fracture. It usually affects the spine, hip as well as wrist. Evista by its estrogen-mimicking action in the bone prevents and treats osteoporosis in women. 
  • Breast cancer: It is a well-established fact that prolonged exposure to estrogen increases the risk of developing breast cancer in women. By blocking the action of estrogen in female breast, Evista reduces the risk of breast cancer. Thus, it is used to prevent the occurrence of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and also in women who are otherwise at risk of developing breast cancer. However, it must be noted that Evista does not cure breast cancer.

Evista Side Effects:

Whenever the word ‘side effects’ appear, patients generally feel anxious and run to the nearest clinic for advice and solace. But it is not always the wrong medicine which causes side effects. Many times, people’s inattentiveness and negligence in the form of overdose, missed dose and irregular dose can be a cause. Well whatever is the reason, if you find these negative effects then just go for medical assistance.

  • Chest pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • fever
  • difficulty or painful urination
  • leg cramping
  • frequent urination
  • infection
  • skin rash
  • vaginal itching
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing

General Recommended Dosages of Evista:

You have to use this drug in the precise quantity your general practitioner prescribes you. Always follow all the directions mentioned on the prescription label carefully.

You can take Evista without or with food. You can take this drug any time of the day, but preferably at the same time every day.

In case your Evista pill is packaged on blister cards, then follow the following instructions carefully before taking the tablet:

  • Every blister card includes 15 pills labeled with the week’s different day. You have to use them day wise or week wise and in the dose prescribed by your doctor.
  • In case you refill your prescription and planning to start a new blister pack, then take the tablet labeled one day after you took your last dose.
  • Keep taking the medication one tablet per day, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
  • Take Evista at the same time every day
  • The tablet at the center of the blister card has to be taken last before starting a new blister card.

Before undergoing any surgical process, you must inform your surgeon in advance that you are using Evista to prevent complications.

In Case I Miss the Dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if you are about to take the next scheduled dose, you need not take the missed dose and can proceed with the next scheduled dose.

In Case I Take Overdose?

There is no specific antidote for Evista. Hence, seek emergency medical help in case of overdose.

Drug Interactions of Evista:

Many drugs can cause complications when taken with Evista. Most common drugs are as follows.

  • blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin)
  • cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills
  • diazoxide (Proglycem)
  • lidocaine

There are several other drugs which can interact with Evista. Hence, inform your healthcare provider about your entire drug history. 

Lifestyle and Food Habits You Must Follow When on Evista:

A healthy lifestyle enhances the efficacy of treatment. Hence, cut down the intake of nicotine, tobacco or alcohol when on Evista. Along with medication, incorporation of vitamin D and calcium in the diet is necessary to counteract osteoporosis. Also, inform your doctor if you have:

  • coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis)
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney or liver disease
  • a history of TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) or stroke
  • high triglycerides
  • allergic to raloxifene
  • a history of breast cancer
  • if you have not attained menopause yet

Evista is just a part of the overall treatment, which may include exercise, diet, vitamin D or calcium supplements and weight control. So follow them properly.

How Safe Is Evista for Pregnant Women or Nursing Mothers?

Evista is absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy as evidence of fetal anomalies exist. Also, Evista is excreted in milk and is, therefore contraindicated in lactating mothers.

Complications and Conditions Possible Due to Prolonged Use of Evista:

Addiction liability of Evista is unknown. However, do not stop the drug abruptly without consulting your doctor.

Availability of Evista:

Evista is not an over-the-counter medication and is usually available on a prescription only.