Sunday, March 2, 2014

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) mnemonic

Greeting everyone! =)

SERMs are Selective estrogen receptor modulators.
They have varied effects on estrogen receptors in different tissues and it might get confusing (especially, effects of different drugs on the endometrium!) Mnemonic to the rescue! ^__^

Raloxifene Tamoxifen mnemonic
Tamoxifen and Raloxifene are used in breast cancer as they are antagonist of estrogen at the level of breast.

Tamoxifen and Raloxifene, like estrogen, has been shown to increase bone density and to reduce the likelihood of development of osteoporosis. (Partial agonist at bone!)

Tamoxifen causes endometrial changes, including polyp formation, hyperplasia, and frank invasive carcinoma. (Remember: T is symbolic for +ve at endometrium.)

Raloxifene reduces the risk of uterine cancer. (Remember: R is symbolic for -ve at endometrium.)

Notes by flex from usmleforums:
- Tamoxifen and Raloxifen both are anti-estrogenic on breast tissue so they are both useful for carcinoma breast but Tamoxifen is more famous because Raloxifen was initially approved for osteoporosis only by the FDA.
- Tamoxifen and Raloxifen both are estrogenic on bone tissues (preventing bone loss) and can be used in postmenopausal osteoporosis. However, Tamoxifen is Anti-Estrogenic in premenopausal women (can itself cause osteoporosis) that's why Raloxifen is more famous for this indication.
- Tamoxifen is agonist on endometrial tissue (risk of cancer) while Raloxifen is antagonist on endometrial tissue (no risk of cancer).
- Both are agonist on liver tissue, therefore they may cause thrombosis
- Both are antagonist on brain tissue, therefore they may cause menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.

That's all!
Hope it helps. Lemme know if you have any mnemonics on SERMs.
Also, pray that I do well in my exams =)


  1. Thanks for this! I've been trying to find a way to remember this for so long. This is super unique and will definitely stick :D

  2. This is soo cool!! Thanx for sharing!

  3. This is soo cool!! Thanx for sharing!

  4. I have a mneumonic i would like to share to memorise ligation of superior and inferior thyroid artery in removal of thyroid gland

    UP - Superior thyroid artery- ligate it close to the thyroid gland
    Completely opposite for inferior thyroid artery ligation
    Hope this helps!!

    1. The latest development has been that both arteries should be ligated close to the gland as the inferior thyroid artery also supplies parathyroid gland therefore to decrease the risk of injury to the inferior thyroid artery it's also ligated close to gland.


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