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What is a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM)?

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator or SERMs, are often called designer estrogens. They are a family of drugs made in a laboratory. SERMs have some effects similar to estrogen on bone, cholesterol and other blood fats. SERMs decrease the effects of estrogen on certain tissues like the breast and uterus, and may be used with people who are at risk for developing these cancers. SERMs may also reduce the risk of breast cancer and lower cholesterol. Research is currently being done to better understand these effects.

One SERM, Evista® (raloxifene), has been approved for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Evista has been shown to help prevent bone loss in the hip and spine and decrease spine fractures and is available as a pill.

What are the side effects of SERMS?

Side effects may include hot flashes, leg cramps and blood clots. SERMs normally do not cause bloating, breast tenderness, or bleeding from the uterus.

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