The prescription drug Fosamax has been marketed by Merck & Co. for the treatment of osteoporosis, but several studies have shown that the medicine actually weakens bones instead of making them stronger. In fact, reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that Fosamax can make the femur, or thighbone — the strongest bone in the body — so brittle that it can snap under virtually no stress. This comes on top of prior studies that have shown Fosamax can lead to osteonecrosis of the jaw or “jawbone death.”
Patients who have taken Fosamax (alendronate sodium) and have suffered an unusual femur fracture or deterioration of the jaw could be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Lawsuits over medication side effects are essentially product liability matters, but they also involve medical malpractice law.
The law firm of Gemma Law Associates, Inc., has years of experience handling Rhode Island medical malpractice cases, including defective drug cases. We fight to protect the rights of patients and their families. Call us toll free or fill out our online contact form for a consultation about your case.
We represent clients throughout Rhode Island including the areas Providence, Newport, Bristol, Woonsocket, Pawtucket and Cranston.
Fosamax and Atypical Femur Fractures
A type of bisphosphonate drug, Fosamax was introduced to the U.S. market in 1995. By 2008, the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma had linked Fosamax to a high incidence of low-energy femur fractures. Some people who were taking Fosamax suffered broken femurs while doing nothing more than walking, stepping off a curb or climbing stairs. Research has indicated that Fosamax can increase the likelihood of suffering a broken femur by 125 percent.
Researchers believe that Fosamax interferes with the normal metabolism of the bones and causes them to weaken. The normal bone repair process is interrupted, causing the bone structure to become more brittle. Normal activities can cause tiny stress fractures in the brittle bone material, which eventually gives way in a major fracture.
The femur fractures related to Fosamax are called “atypical” because they do not look like a normal fracture. Instead, they occur under minimal stress and break horizontally, which is normal for that type of fracture.
Fosamax has a very long half-life — it can remain in your system for at least a decade. That means that even if you have stopped taking Fosamax, you could still be susceptible to a femur fracture or other side effect.
Reports have linked Fosamax to these side effects:
- Atypical femur fracture;
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw;
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Esophageal irritation;
- Muscular and joint pain;
- Infections; and
- Dental problems.
Contact Rhode Island Drug Injury Attorney
If you suspect you have suffered an atypical femur fracture or other serious side effect because you were taking Fosamax, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Even if you are unsure, the Providence, Rhode Island, Fosamax femur fracture attorneys of Gemma Law Associates, Inc., can review your case and advise you.
Contact us today toll free or fill out our online contact form.