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Lilly's Evista builds bone.

Although hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is good for bones, recent research from the national Women's Health Initiative study shows that HRT can increase the risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Dr. Jacques Rossouw, acting director of the WHI, recommends that women who are concerned about osteoporosis look into safer, effective alternatives to hormone therapy, including Evista (raloxifene hydrochloride).

Evista is neither an estrogen nor a hormone. It is a selective estrogen receptor modulator, or SERM.

"Selective estrogen receptor modulators are synthetically engineered compounds that are designed to mimic estrogen effects in some tissues, like the bones and cardiovascular system," explained Dr. John Termine, head of the Lilly Research Laboratories team on the Evista project. "At the same time, it was engineered to nonmimic estrogen in the uterus and the breast."

Clinical trials show that the prescription drug Evista, on the market since 1997, makes bones stronger and decreases the risk of fracture in post-menopausal women. And in a recent study published in JAMA, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found that raloxifene significantly lessened the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events among post-menopausal women.

Doctors recommend that all women take calcium, usually with vitamin D and magnesium, to help strengthen bones and prevent bone loss. Weight-bearing exercise and dietary supplements--including microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC), horsetail, and red clover--have also been noted to prevent or slow osteoporosis.
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Publication:Medical Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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