Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Osteoporosis Drug May Take Edge off Anxiety


WebMD Health News

Sept. 6, 2000 -- Researchers looking into bone-building effects of the osteoporosis drug raloxifene have stumbled onto an unexpected finding: It also appears to reduce anxiety levels in some postmenopausal women.

"The major finding of the study that is unique was that raloxifene seemed to reduce anxiety levels measured on a standardized scale in otherwise normal menopausal patients," lead author Ronald Strickler, MD, tells WebMD. Strickler is chair of obstetrics and gynecology for the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

Approximately one in five postmenopausal women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) containing estrogen for a variety or reasons, including relief of hot flashes or night sweats, prevention of osteoporosis, and protection for the heart by modifying cholesterol levels. Estrogen also is believed to affect the central nervous system by helping memory, concentration, and mood.

But estrogen can have negative side effects, such as breast swelling and vaginal bleeding. Also, there is a risk of uterine cancer in those women who haven't had a hysterectomy when estrogen is given with the hormone progesterone. Hormone replacement also has been linked to breast cancer. However, that link is controversial.

Raloxifene is part of a new class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) or designer estrogens. In some places in the body, SERMs act like estrogen does (for example, by preventing bone-thinning and heart disease), while in others they act like an anti-estrogen (for example, by possibly reducing the risk of breast and uterine cancer). Their selectiveness is what makes SERMs attractive to patients and doctors alike.

In the study, funded by raloxifene-maker Eli Lilly, Strickler and his colleagues gave almost 400 postmenopausal women one of four treatments, including raloxifene and a placebo.

Every three months for the 12-month duration of the study, the women filled out a quality-of-life questionnaire that measured items such as depressed mood, sleep problems, anxiety/fears, physical symptoms, menstrual-like symptoms, sexual behavior, and perceived attractiveness. For example, anxiety/fear questions asked about getting frightened or feeling panic for no reason, felling tense when going out of the house alone, feeling "butterflies" in the stomach or chest, and feeling "wound up" or tense.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

young leukemia patient
Article
Unhappy couple
Article
 
embarrassed woman
SLIDESHOW
clown
Quiz
 
Phobias frightened eyes
Slideshow
podium
Article
 
organize
Article
stressed boy in classroom
Article
 
Distressed teen girl in dramatic lighting
Article
man hiding with phone
Article
 
chain watch
Article
tarantula
Article