Fosamax (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995. Fosamax is used to treat women who suffer from the onset of osteoporosis caused by menopause, as well as men and women who suffer bone complications due to steroid use.
Additionally, the drug is prescribed to increase bone mass in individuals who suffer from osteoporosis, as well as to treat Pagat’s disease of bone. Millions of people have used Fosamax for bone-related complications since its introduction in the 1990s. Unfortunately, it has been linked to serious medical conditions.
Due to the nature in which the Fosamax drug works, studies have shown the drug can prevent the body from removing old bone. Fosamax has also been linked to an inability to repair old bone, which can lead to serious fractures in different areas of the body. Fosamax can cause or increase the risk of femur fractures. In addition to preventing the removal of old bone, it has been shown to inhibit the body’s ability to repair bone. This makes bones brittle, increasing the risk of femur fractures.
As a result of these side effects, several lawsuits have been filed on behalf of patients who have used this medication. If you have experienced adverse health effects, you should contact a Fosamax lawyer at our firm for help.
Fosamax Side Effects
This powerful drug, which builds bone density in osteoporosis patients, actually causes the body’s natural bone-making process to shut down, a condition known as osteoclast apoptosis. So, Fosamax and other bisphosphonates actually make a person’s bones even more brittle than they were before. As a rule of thumb, the longer drug use continues, the higher the risk of developing OP.
In addition to atypical femur fractures and stress fractures, some common Fosamax side effects that should be discussed with your attorney include:
- Hypocalcemia: When blood level in calcium gets too low, the bone matter deteriorates from the inside. In addition to broken bones, hypocalcemia can cause nausea, fatigue, spasms, and cramps.
- Musculoskeletal Pain: Fosamax is an immediate shock to the system and, in many cases, severe discomfort starts within a few days of the first dose. Many doctors ignore government warnings and prescribe painkillers in these cases, which may lead to a range of problems.
- Osteonecrosis: Dead Jaw Syndrome occurs when blood flow to the mandible is cut off. Eventually, the infected tissue entirely collapses.
Merck, the drug maker, has consistently denied that these side effects are terribly serious, and the company continues to aggressively market Fosamax.
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)
Osteonecrosis (ONJ), also referred to as Dead Jaw Syndrome, is another serious side-effect of Fosamax. This can occur when blood flow to the jaw is cut off, causing the bone to die. ONJ usually occurs following minor trauma around the jaw, such as a visit to the dentist. Taking Fosamax increases the risk of this complication occurring.
Tissue around the jaw will erode, and eventually, blood flow to the area will be restricted and cut off. The lack of blood causes the bone to die, and eventually can collapse.
While the link between Fosamax and Osteonecrosis risk is still being studied, doctors who prescribe Fosamax to patients urge them to receive any necessary dental work prior to beginning the medication.
Femur fractures have become a serious concern for patients who take Fosamax for bone related complications. The femur is the largest bone in the body, located in the thigh.
It is very rarely broken, and under normal circumstances, extremely hard to fracture. However, individuals who take Fosamax are at risk of fractures due to the drug’s ability to inhibit the body’s ability to repair bone.
This can make bones stiff and brittle, as well as prone to injury. Many patients have reported stress fractures in their femur bones that occurred while they were participating in routine daily activities such as walking or getting out of bed.
Femur fractures require medical attention and take time to repair. Lawsuits are currently being filed for patients who suffered from femur fractures. If you or a loved on has suffered bone fractures as a result of taking Fosamax, you may have a case against the drug’s manufacturer with the help of an attorney.
Jaw Bone Injuries
Fosamax and Injuries to the jaw bone have been frequently associated with Fosamax use. Jaw bone fractures, death, infection, pain, and exposed bone have all been reported by users of the drug.
In some cases, patients have required tooth extractions because the jaw could no longer support their teeth. Additionally, patients who have had their teeth extracted due to this complication are usually not good candidates for dental implants due to the lack of supporting bone mass. Therefore, these individuals often require extensive, and expensive, bone grafting surgery.
Since the risk of jaw injuries while using Fosamax is increased, Doctors who prescribe the drug recommend any necessary dental work be preformed prior to beginning the medication.
Retain Our Fosamax Attorneys For Help
Thousands of lawsuits have been bought by patients against Fosamax maker, Merck & Co., alleging that the plaintiffs suffered injuries as the result of taking Fosamax and that Merck knew or should have known about these side effects but failed to warn the doctors and the patients about them. A New Jersey judge recently dismissed 570 Fosamax lawsuits, but there is still hope for the plaintiffs in the more than 4,000 Fosamax lawsuits that are still pending in the United States, especially since Merck has shown a willingness to settle thousands of related cases in Canada recently.
- Failed to warn the public of the risks of taking Fosamax
- Failed to properly test Fosamax for dangerous side-effects
- Withheld research data from the public about Fosamax dangers
- Sold Fosamax even though they knew it could be dangerous
- Manufactured and sold an unsafe product
Our Fosamax lawyers are standing by to help you.