Fosamax and Esophageal Cancer Side Effects

Esophageal cancer side effects and Fosamax use may be linked in recent studies and Fosamax lawyers are filing lawsuits on behalf of vicitms nationwide.  Contact an attorney at once if you have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and have taken Fosamax.

A new FDA warning indicates that patients taking bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax may have an increased risk of developing life-threatening side effects like esophageal cancer. Fosamax (alendronate) was approved by the FDA in 1995 and is currently manufactured by pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Fosamax is indicated for the treatment of osteoporosis and similar bone diseases by preventing the bone deterioration indicative of these conditions. Fosamax belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, which were designed to strengthen bones by increasing bone mass and decreasing the activity of cells which break down bone. Bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax are the most common therapy for the prevention of fractures associated with osteoporosis, and are prescribed to millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, the potential for Fosamax and other bisphosphonate drugs to cause severe side effects like esophageal cancer has raised serious concerns about the safety of these medications. If you took Fosamax to treat your osteoporosis and have since suffered from esophageal cancer, contact a Fosamax attorney to discuss your legal options.

Esophageal Cancer Symptoms and Prognosis

Esophageal cancer is characterized by a malignant tumor of the esophagus and can present as squamous cell esophageal cancer or adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Common symptoms of esophageal cancer include:

  • Chest pain unrelated to eating
  • Backwards movement of food through the esophagus and possibly the mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing solids or liquids
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting

When esophageal cancer is confined to the esophagus, surgery is typically the treatment of choice, although chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of the two may be used instead. If the cancer spreads to other organs, or if the patient is too ill to undergo surgery, the disease may be uncurable, although chemotherapy and radiation may be used to reduce symptoms.

FDA Warnings and Fosamax Side Effect Studies

In July 2011, the FDA issued a drug safety communication warning patients and healthcare providers about the potential for bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax to cause an increased risk of esophageal cancer in patients. In order to further investigate this potential connection, the FDA has reviewed two epidemiological studies using the U.K. General Practice Research Database. Although one study found no increase in the risk of esophageal cancer, the other found a two-fold increased risk of esophageal cancer among patients who had ten or more prescriptions of bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax, or who had taken the drugs over three years. The FDA has said that it is unable to draw definite conclusions regarding the association between oral bisphosphonates and esophageal cancer.

Fosamax Attorneys for Esophageal Cancer Side Effects

Esophageal cancer is an extremely dangerous side effect, which may be untreatable if the cancer spreads to other organs. If you or a loved one has suffered from esophageal cancer, and you believe Fosamax to be the cause, contact a Fosamax attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse. You may have grounds to file a Fosamax lawsuit against Merck & Co. in order to seek financial compensation for your injury, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Drug companies like Merck are responsible for the safety of their medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. With the help of an experienced Fosamax lawyer, victims of serious Fosamax side effects can protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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