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Risks/Benefits of Osteoporosis Drug Use in Postmenopausal Women

ls. However, the study showed that raloxifene therapy did not significantly reduce the risk of coronary events such as heart attack, hospitalization or death in the clinical trial group assigned to raloxifene therapy, made up of women with previous established or proven risk of heart disease.

Raloxifene is a non-steroidal selective estrogen-receptor modulator (SERM) produced by Eli Lilly. The drug is sold as Evista for preventing and treating osteoporosis, and has also been tested by doctors as an alternative to tamoxifen for preventing breast cancer in a previous trial.

The Raloxifene Use for the Heart (RUTH) trial began in 1998 to determine the effects of the drug on clinical coronary events in women with or at increased risk for coronary heart disease. Eligible participants were women age 55 years or older, who were at least one year postmenopausal, and had established or risk factors for heart disease such as clogged arteries, high blood pressure or cholesterol level, smoking or diabetes. Women at 177 sites in 26 countries were randomly assigned to treatment or placebo.

After an average of five years, the RUTH study showed that deaths and major heart problems were about the same in both the group receiving raloxifene and those taking a placebo. Raloxifene users experienced one-third fewer cases of breast cancer and about half the number of invasive breast cancers.

(Source: Newswise
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