Boniva is mainly ibandronate sodium and contains nitrogen. It belongs to bisphosphonate group of medicines. It is used for treatment of osteoporosis in women after menopause. It also prevents osteoporosis by affecting the bone formation and breakdown cycle. It slows down the process of bone loss and alongside increases bone mass. This alteration prevents bone fractures.

Roche Laboratories Inc. manufactured Boniva, which is an anti-osteoporosis drug. It is used to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause. It has been linked to several serious and fatal side effects. One of the severe side effects of Boniva is osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). It is a rare mouth disease in which there is death of the jaw bone. These side effects have led to many lawsuits filed against Roche related to Boniva side effects. Other similar drugs in the same class for treatment of osteoporosis have also being questioned regarding safety of using them.

Boniva was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2003. It was approved for treatment of osteoporosis in women after menopause. It is also used to treat cancer patients, whose disease has moved to the bone too. It comes in both daily and monthly dosage. Boniva is mainly ibandronate sodium and contains nitrogen. It affects the formation and breakdown cycle of bones and prevents fracture and increases bone mass. This osteoporosis drug affects bone metabolism. It affects bones by making them lose tissue less rapidly and thus there is an increase in bone density.

Boniva should be taken in upright position and patient should remain in the upright position for one hour or it can cause esophageal ulcers. It should be avoided in patients having kidney problems or stomach troubles. It can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive patients and is also linked with gastrointestinal disorder in some patients.

Lawsuits are in offing against Boniva in a large number as it has shown severe side effects like osteonecrosis of the jaw in patients using this drug. In 2003 many studies established that bisphosphonate drugs can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw. ONJ is a condition in which the bone dies in the jaw. This condition could occur after dental surgery, implants or other oral surgery. If Boniva is being used while going through these treatments, the patients do not recover and experience swelling or loose teeth. Finally jawbone dies in the mouth. This condition cannot be treated. In 2006 a study showed that around 120 patients in 2500 cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw were taking Boniva at that time. Since then more and more reports of bone deaths related to Boniva have been reported.

Roche was sued by Proctor & Gamble and Sanofi Aventis, rival pharmaceutical companies in 2006. They accused Roche of establishing Boniva as beneficial as other bisphosphonates drugs through aggressive advertising campaigns. They accused that Roche advertised that Boniva has similar benefits as Fosamax and Actonel. They claimed that the chemical structure of Boniva is different from these drugs. Roche defended it by alleging its rival for smearing its name. It accused that they were misrepresenting its side effects through different studies against it. It also said physicians are being threatened of malpractice cases by them if they prescribe Boniva.

The decision came in Roche‚Äôs favor. The U.S. District Court rejected the proposed injunction in September 2006. It also accused Proctor & Gamble and Sanofi Aventis of trying to smear Boniva’s name to undermine its market share. It said they were trying to keep popularity of their own bisphosphonate drugs by dragging Boniva in controversies.