Fosamax for Femur Fractures

By on August 4th, 2017

Fosamax is a drug that is used to treat osteoporosis in men and women alike. It is a bisphosphonate product and is also referred to as alendronate, alendronate acid and alendronic sodium. Since being introduced in late 1995, Fosamax is the most extensively used oral bisphosphonate, taken by more than 20 million people.

However, there are many dangers associated with Fosamax, leading consumers to consider pursuing Fosamax lawsuits. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued several warnings and alerts regarding Fosamax and its potentially severe side effects. In October 2010, the FDA announced bisphosphonate drugs would need to change their labels to specify the risks Fosamax may pose to patients taking bisphosphonates to treat osteoporosis. The information the label change will reflect is the risk of femur fractures or breaks occurring to those using bisphosphonates.

The kinds of fractures that have been linked to bisphosphonate use, including Fosamax, are atypical fractures of the femur, also known as subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femur fractures. These types of bone fractures are extremely uncommon, accounting for less than one percent of all hip and femur fractures.

In 2008, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed women taking Fosamax for an average time of 5.4 years before a femur fracture occurred. Of the 15 women studied, 10 of them had atypical femur fractures and had been taking Fosamax for about seven years. The women without comminuted fractures (see definition) or any break in the femur had only been taking Fosamax a little under three years. The study discovered that the femur fractures were “low-energy” fractures, meaning they resulted from a fall at standing height or less.

The fractures in the femurs were also in an unusual horizontal pattern. The lead researcher in the study, Dr. Joseph Lane, chief of metabolic bone disease at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, noted the fractures were “peculiar fractures that would occur when the women were basically doing nothing.” Lane believes the study offers evidence of a link between alendronate use, such as Fosamax, and fractures of the femur, particularly low-energy fractures.

Fosamax in particular has been linked to many serious and often severe side effects, including esophageal cancer; inflammation of the throat, stomach and esophagus; and bone, joint, and muscle pain. As early as 2001, Fosamax was also linked to osteonecrosis of the jaw, or ONJ. It is also referred to as “dead jaw syndrome.” Dentists and oral surgeons noticed during a patient’s dental work a correlation between teeth and jaw decay, as well as jaw bone loss with bisphosphonate use. Jaw Necrosis, depending on the severity, may require surgery to remove the affected bone.

As with any human interactions, particularly during the holiday season, those taking bisphosphonate products, such as Fosamax, are warned of the increased risk in large crowds, using stairs, or playing with children in falling and suffering a femur fracture or break.

The Fosamax unsafe drug attorneys at Anapol Schwartz can help those affected or injured by the hazardous drug and can help consumers acquire compensation for their injuries. If you believe that you may grounds to pursue a Fosamax femur fracture lawsuit, please contact us today.

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