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Osteoporosis is a common disease characterized by the occurrence of fragility fractures. Major osteoporotic fractures are associated with decreased quality of life and high costs. This review summarizes clinical data on raloxifene (RLX), a second generation selective estrogen-receptor modulator (SERM), currently approved for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. RLX has estrogen effects on bone and lipid profile, whereas it has anti-estrogen effects on uterus and breast cells. Its main side effects are hot flushes and venous thromboembolism. Literature searches were conducted to retrieve articles reporting RLX clinical trial data. For comparison of safety and efficacy, post-marketing studies on RLX were included. RLX is effective in reducing vertebral fracture risk in osteoporotic women, it is safe and its ability to prevent breast cancer has to be considered in the analyses of cost/effect and of the ideal candidate to this treatment. RLX has to be avoided in patients with previous history of venous thromboembolism.


Patrizia D'Amelio, Giovanni Carlo Isaia. The use of raloxifene in osteoporosis treatment. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy. 2013 May;14(7):949-56

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PMID: 23521229

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