Raloxifene: Mechanism of Action, Effects on Bone Tissue, and Applicability in Clinical Traumatology Practice

Jose R. Caeiro Rey*, 1, Eduardo Vaquero Cervino2, Maria Luz Rentero3, Emilio Calvo Crespo4, Angel Oteo Álvaro5, Marta Casillas3
1 Servicio de C.O.T. Complexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2 Servicio de C.O.T. Complexo Hospitalario de Pontevedra, Pontevedra
3 Medical Department, Lilly, Spain
4 Servicio de C.O.T. Fundation Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain
5 Servicio de C.O.T. Hospital Virgen de la Torre, Madrid, Spain

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© Caeiro et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Lugar de Montes, 26, Cacheiras. 15883, Teo, La Coruña, Spain; E-mail:


Raloxifene, a member of the class of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM), reproduces the beneficial effects of estrogens on the skeletal systems, without the negative effects estrogens on breast and endometrium.

This is a review article summarizing its mechanism, effects on bone and its applicability in traumatology clinical practice. In postmenopausal osteoporosis, this drug has been proven to decrease accelerated bone turnover, increase bone mineral density (BMD), and to structurally recover bone, decreasing the risk of vertebral fractures and the risk of non-vertebral fractures in patients with previous, severe vertebral fractures. Moreover, raloxifene appears to lower the risk of invasive breast cancer. Raloxifene would be efficacious in the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

We can therefore conclude that raloxifene would be efficacious in the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, while reducing the risk of breast cancer when used at the indicated dose of 60 mg/day and with a low incidence of side effects.

Keywords: Raloxifene, SERM, postmenopausal osteoporosis, osteoporotic fracture.