Raloxifene: the first selective estrogen receptor modulator for postmenopausal osteoporosis

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IN BRIEFRaloxifene is the first selective estrogen receptor modulator shown to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women. The drug also reduces levels of fibrinogen and cholesterol, a potential benefit in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.In addition, raloxifene appears to prevent the development of breast and endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women. These benefits were suggested by the findings from the MORE (Multiple Outcomes of Raloxifene Evaluation) trial and supported by the results of a large meta-analysis. However, these findings require confirmation.Raloxifene increases the risk of venous thrombosis and appears to be less effective than estrogens for preventing bone loss. Moreover, hot flushes occur more commonly with raloxifene than with estrogens, but the reverse is true for vaginal bleeding and breast pain. Patients suitable for raloxifene therapy are those unwilling or unable to tolerate estrogens.

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