Fosamax side effects may lead to conditions such as ONJ, oral osteonecrosis, femur fractures, and esophageal cancer.  Contact an attorney if you have been affected by these conditions to explore your Fosamax lawsuit options.

One of the most popular osteoporosis medications, Fosamax, may be associated with several life-altering side effects among patients. Fosamax has been available on the U.S. market since 1995 when it was approved by the FDA to treat the deterioration of bones caused by osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Fosamax (alendronate) belongs to a class of pharmaceutical drugs called bisphosphonates, and functions by increasing bone mass and slowing the activity of cells which break down bone, thereby strengthening bones and decreasing the frequency of abnormal fractures. Fosamax is currently manufactured by Merck & Co., against whom several Fosamax lawsuits have already been filed for injuries sustained by Fosamax users.

In light of recent information about the potential side effects associated with the pharmaceutical drug Fosamax, the medication may no longer be considered safe in the treatment of osteoporosis. In order to determine the value of a drug, the FDA weighs all potential risks against the possible benefits of the treatment. Although Fosamax may be effective in treating some patients with osteoporosis, the potential for the drug to cause such severe harm may indicate that Fosamax is a dangerous drug. If you or a loved one has taken Fosamax and suffered from serious side effects, contact a Fosamax attorney immediately to discuss your legal options.

Potential Fosamax Side Effects

According to a number of Fosamax side effect studies, the osteoporosis drug Fosamax may be associated with several devastating side effects, including:

  • Osteonecrosis of the jaw
  • Atypical femur fractures
  • Severe musculoskeletal pain
  • Esophageal cancer

Osteonecrosis of the jaw, also called ONJ or dead jaw syndrome, is a devastating condition which results in damage and death to areas of the jaw bone, often requiring large portions of the jaw bone to be removed. Atypical femur fractures, in relation to Fosamax, are characterized by extremely painful fractures in the bone just below the hip joint or in the long part of the thigh bone. Musculoskeletal pain is caused by severe damage to the joints, bones, ligaments, nerves, muscles or tendons. Esophageal cancer is characterized by a malignant tumor in the esophagus, the muscular tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach.

In 2004, the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery published a study in which researchers identified a potential connection between Fosamax use and the development of ONJ. Two years later, a study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in which researchers reiterated this correlation, after observing nearly 400 individuals who developed ONJ after taking Fosamax or a similar medication. In 2010, the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research established a task force in order to review 310 cases of atypical femur fracture. Researchers found that 94% of the patients had taken a bisphosphonate drug like Fosamax, and most had been on the drug for five years or more. The report also indicated that more than half of the patients experienced groin or thigh pain over the course of weeks or months leading up to the fractures.

Fosamax FDA Warnings for Side Effects

In July 2011, the FDA issued a drug safety communication concerning the potential connection between bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax and the development of esophageal cancer. The FDA reviewed two epidemiological studies before releasing this warning, both of which used the U.K. General Practice Research Database. Although one study found no increase in the risk of esophageal cancer, the other found a doubling of the risk of esophageal cancer in patients who had ten or more prescriptions of bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax, or who had taken the drugs over three years. In 2010, the FDA issued a warning to patients and healthcare professionals regarding the connection between bisphosphonates like Fosamax and two rare types of thigh fractures. Due to this potential for causing atypical fractures, the FDA required Merck and other bisphosphonate drug makers to include the risk in the Warnings and Precautions section of the drugs' labels.

Previously, in 2008, the FDA warned patients and physicians that the use of bisphosphonates like Fosamax had been associated with severe and sometimes incapacitating musculoskeletal pain, affecting the bones, joints and muscles. According to the FDA, musculoskeletal pain associated with bisphosphonates like Fosamax may occur within days, weeks or months after beginning use of the drug. The FDA also recommended that physicians consider whether Fosamax use might be responsible for musculoskeletal pain in patients who experience these symptoms, prompting temporary or permanent discontinuation of the drug.

Fosamax Attorneys for Side Effects

The side effects potentially linked to Fosamax use are serious and may lead to permanent damage in patients. If you or a loved one has suffered from severe side effects and you believe Fosamax to be the cause, contact a Fosamax attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a Fosamax lawsuit against Marck & Co. The goal of Fosamax lawsuits is to seek financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses, as well as the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. A number of Fosamax lawsuits have already been filed against Merck, alleging that the drug company withheld information regarding the severity of potential Fosamax side effects. Victims of dangerous drug-related injuries are not at fault. With the help of a qualified Fosamax lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is being effectively and professionally represented.

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