Fosamax, or alendronate, and Fosamax D (Fosamax with vitamin D) are types of oral biophosponate, a class of drugs used to prevent bone breakdown and increase bone density.  Introduced to the market in September 1995 by the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc., Fosamax is approved for use in the prevention and treatment of bone diseases.  Most often prescribed for postmenopausal women, men with osteoporosis, men and women who are on corticosteroids, cancer patients in jeopardy of bone fractures due to bone metastases, and those with Paget’s disease (ostetis deformans), Fosamax can maintain and increase bone density levels, but there are many serious side effects to ingesting this drug especially when taken for five or more years.

Atypical Femur Fractures

The purpose of Fosamax is to provide individuals suffering from bone loss a product that will increase bone density, but in September 2010, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) concluded that long-term use of biophosponate drugs can lead to atypical femur fractures.  While it is clear that biophosponate’s do slow bone loss, they also suppress bone turnover, the natural process of bone remodeling.  Old bone tissue is not replaced with new bone tissue, and, therefore, while bone density is good, the bones themselves become brittle and crack with little or no trauma.

Studies support claims that women taking Fosamax for less then five years have had positive results, but those taking Fosamax for more than five years are at an increased rate of spontaneous femur fractures with little or no warning.  Additionally, atypical femur fractures tend to be bilateral; if a fracture occurs in one leg, it tends to occur in the other leg.  Patients generally report of pain in the thigh or groin area, an unusual dull, aching pain, weeks or even months before a break.  If you are taking Fosamax and experience this type of pain, consult your doctor immediately.

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)

Osteonecrosis, or “Dead Jaw,” occurs when there is a loss of blood to the bone and tissue surrounding the jaw; the lack of blood to the bone causes the bone to starve and eventually die. When suffering from ONJ, patients may be asymptomatic until trauma, such as a tooth extraction, occurs, then ONJ sufferers may experience jaw pain, swelling, numbness, tooth loss in addition to gum infection and the slow healing of the mouth or jaw after injury or surgery. Once diagnosed, ONJ is difficult to treat.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Long-term use of an oral biophosponate can cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and esophageal disorders. Patients taking Fosamax must be able to sit or stand for at least thirty minutes after taking or patients can develop mouth sores and esophageal problems.

Have You Been Affected by Fosamax?

Any individual or the relative of an individual who has suffered due to Fosamax’s side effects is permitted to file a lawsuit against Merck & Co., Inc.  The lawyers can help you determine whether you are qualified to seek compensation.  You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages (compensation granted for losses suffered).

We can match your case with attorneys who have the experience to handle even the most complex claims and are accepting new cases.  For further information about the harmful side effects of Fosamax or legal advice concerning personal injury matters, please contact us or to fill out our form on this website for a free case evaluation.