Raloxifene – common side effects

Raloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that is sometimes used in gender-affirming care for transgender women or transfeminine individuals as part of hormone therapy. Here are some of the potential unwanted or adverse effects associated with raloxifene:

Side EffectDescription
Hot FlashesRaloxifene use may lead to hot flashes, characterized by sudden feelings of warmth, flushing of the face, and sweating.
Leg CrampsSome individuals may experience leg cramps while taking raloxifene. These cramps may occur during the day or at night and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain.
Blood ClotsRaloxifene may increase the risk of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), particularly in individuals with pre-existing risk factors for thrombosis such as a history of blood clots, obesity, or prolonged immobility.
Joint PainJoint pain or stiffness may occur as a side effect of raloxifene therapy. This pain can affect various joints in the body and may be aggravated by physical activity or movement.
Increased SweatingSome individuals may experience increased sweating, particularly at night, while taking raloxifene. This sweating may be bothersome but is usually not a cause for concern.
NauseaNausea or gastrointestinal discomfort may occur as a side effect of raloxifene therapy, though this is usually mild and transient. Taking the medication with food or adjusting the timing of doses may help alleviate this side effect.
HeadachesHeadaches are a common side effect of raloxifene therapy. These headaches may range from mild to moderate in severity and typically improve over time as the body adjusts to the medication.
Mood ChangesSome individuals may experience mood changes, including mood swings, irritability, or changes in emotional well-being, while taking raloxifene therapy.
Weight GainRaloxifene therapy may lead to weight gain in some individuals, particularly due to changes in fat distribution.
Breast TendernessRaloxifene therapy can cause breast tenderness or discomfort in some individuals due to its estrogen-like effects on breast tissue.
Vaginal BleedingSome individuals may experience vaginal bleeding or spotting while taking raloxifene, particularly during the initial stages of treatment. This bleeding is usually mild and irregular and may occur even if menstruation has ceased.
Rare Allergic ReactionsAlthough rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to raloxifene, including rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Immediate medical attention is necessary if any signs of an allergic reaction occur.

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Updated on February 16, 2024

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