, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 123-128

Skeletal and nonskeletal effects of raloxifene

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Raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, is approved for the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Prevention studies with raloxifene have demonstrated preservation of bone density and suppression of bone turnover markers in young postmenopausal women. The Multiple Outcomes of Raloxifene Evaluation study was the pivotal treatment trial for raloxifene. It demonstrated significant reduction in the risk for vertebral fractures after 1 and 3 years. Significant reduction of nonvertebral fractures with raloxifene has not yet been demonstrated. In addition to the effects of raloxifene on bone, potentially beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, breast, and uterus have been described. Most of these nonskeletal effects have been reported as secondary endpoints from large osteoporosis trials with raloxifene. Prospective, randomized, double-blind studies of raloxifene with breast cancer prevention and cardiovascular protection as primary endpoints are now underway.