Evista (chemical name: raloxifene) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) used to:
reduce the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who haven’t been diagnosed but have a higher-than-average risk of the disease
reduce the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women being treated for osteoporosis who haven’t been diagnosed with breast cancer
treat and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
How Evista works
Because Evista is a SERM, it’s selective about which estrogen receptors it binds to. In bones, Evista binds to estrogen receptors, which decreases bone breakdown and increases bone mineral density. This is why it is used to treat and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Studies suggest that Evista sits in estrogen receptors in breast cells, which stops estrogen from binding to the cells, which can reduce the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
It’s important to know that Evista is not used to treat breast cancer. It is only used to reduce the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
Is Evista right for you?
Evista may be a good option for you if you’re a postmenopausal woman with a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer and want to take medicine to reduce that risk. It also may be an option for you if you’re a post-menopausal woman being treated for osteoporosis and also want the medicine to reduce your risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
Evista is not used to treat breast cancer after it’s diagnosed. Evista also won’t reduce the risk of hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.
If you have a history of blood clots, called venous thromboembolism by doctors, you should not take Evista because the medicine increases the risk of blood clots.
If you use cholestyramine (brand names include: Prevalite and Questran Light) to lower high cholesterol levels, you should not take Evista.
If you’re taking any type of estrogen, including hormone replacement therapy, you should not take Evista.
You should not take Evista if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or if there is any chance that you could be pregnant. Evista may cause damage to developing embryos. You should use an effective non-hormonal type of birth control while you are taking Evista. Ask your doctor which type of non-hormonal birth control would be best for you.
What to expect during Evista treatment
Evista is a pill taken once per day, with or without food. Most doctors recommend taking Evista at the same time each day.
In research studying Evista to reduce breast cancer risk, women took the medicine for five years. Still, it’s not completely clear how long you should take Evista to get the most risk-reduction benefits. Depending on your unique situation, your doctor may prescribe Evista for more or less than five years.
Evista side effects
Like many medicines, Evista can cause side effects, some of them severe.
The most common side effects of Evista are:
Evista also may cause serious side effects, including:
Blood clots: Evista is known to increase the risk of blood clots. Tell your doctor right away if you have:
sudden chest pain
shortness of breath
coughing that brings up blood
pain, tenderness, or swelling in one or both of your legs
Stroke: Evista also can increase the risk of having a stroke. it’s a good idea to go directly to the emergency room if you have any symptoms of a stroke, including:
sudden weakness, tingling or numbness in your face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body
sudden confusion, or trouble speaking or understanding
sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
sudden severe headache with no known cause
Paying for Evista
If your doctor prescribes Evista and you have problems paying for it or getting it covered by insurance, the Lilly Cares Foundation may be able to help you.
Learn more about Paying for Your Care, including information on additional types of financial assistance and cost-lowering tips.
Evista prescribing information. Eli Lilly and Company, USA. Available at: https://uspl.lilly.com/evista/evista.html#pi
— Last updated on July 27, 2022, 1:46 PM