Evista is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007 to help prevent the development of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk for the disease. Evista is also known by its drug name, Raloxifene. Evista reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Evista was previously approved to treat and help prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Evista does not reduce the risk of noninvasive breast cancer. It is not used to treat breast cancer that has already developed. It is not used to prevent recurrence of breast cancer in women who have had the disease before.
Evista may not be suitable for women of childbearing age. Evista should be used with caution in women with a history of heart disease, deep-vein thrombosis (blood clots), kidney or liver impairment, or hypertriglyceridemia. Evista should also be used with caution in women at high risk for stroke. Evista may cause negative interactions with drugs including cholestyramine, diazepam, diazoxide, and lidocaine. Women who begin or stop taking blood thinners derived from coumarin such as warfarin while taking Evista should receive extra monitoring of prothrombin time, a test to gauge blood clotting efficiency.
About two-thirds of breast cancers are estrogen receptor-positive, meaning that they require estrogen in order to grow. Evista is a member of a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERM, that provide hormone therapy to treat or help prevent receptor-positive breast cancer. Evista is believed to work by reducing the effect of estrogen in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers.
How do I take it?
Evista is a pill taken orally once a day. It does not matter what time you take it or whether you take it with meals. You may need to supplement your diet with either calcium or Vitamin D or both while taking Evista; ask your doctor before beginning any new dietary supplement.
It is not known how long Evista should be taken in order to receive maximum benefits.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Evista.
In a summary of several different clinical trials involving a total of more than 83,000 women, Raloxifene (Evista) was shown to reduce the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by approximately 38 percent in postmenopausal women at high risk for the disease. The summary was updated in 2014.
The long-term effects of taking Raloxifene are not known.
Common side effects of Evista include hot flashes, leg cramps and vaginal dryness. Hot flashes usually stop after approximately six months of taking Evista.
Evista raises your risk of developing life-threatening blood clots in your legs or lungs, especially when you are inactive for long periods. Call your doctor immediately if you experience swelling, warmth, pain, redness, or tenderness in your legs, a fast heart rate, coughing up blood, chest pain that worsens with deep breaths, trouble breathing, or sudden shortness of breath.
Contact your doctor right away if you develop hives.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions which, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.
Evista offers the beneficial side effect of improving bone density, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis.