Evista and Osteoporosis
Evista has been evaluated in studies of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. In these studies, Evista (along with calcium and vitamin D) reduced the risk of vertebral fractures (broken spinal bones) by up to 41 percent, compared to taking just calcium and vitamin D. It also increased bone mineral density (a measure of the strength of bones) in the spine, hip, and wrist.
The medication can also be used to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. In studies, women taking the drug (along with calcium) showed increased bone mineral density, while those taking just calcium actually experienced bone loss.
Evista and Breast Cancer
Several studies have evaluated the drug for breast cancer prevention. In one four-year study on Evista for treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, researchers documented any cases of breast cancer to make sure Evista did not increase this risk. Instead, it was found that the drug reduced the risk of breast cancer by up to 62 percent. This beneficial effect of Evista has been documented in other studies as well.
In addition to preventing breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, it has been shown to prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women without osteoporosis who are at high risk for breast cancer. In one study, it reduced the risk of breast cancer by up to 44 percent. Another study (the "STAR trial") showed that Evista and tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), an older medication used to prevent breast cancer, were similarly effective, although Evista seemed to have a lower risk of several important side effects (such as uterine cancer).
When and How to Take EvistaGeneral considerations for when and how to take Evista include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- You can take it with or without food.
- You can take it at any time of the day, although it is best to take it at the same time each day.
- If you are taking the medication for osteoporosis, you need to make sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.