Doctors May Have Overprescribed Fosamax For Osteoporosis, New Study Shows
A recent study about the slow progression of bone loss in osteoporosis raises questions about the benefits of taking Fosamax for osteoporosis. The study, which followed nearly 5,000 women ages 67 and over for more than a decade, found that bone loss develops so slowly that women with normal bone density at age 65 could wait 15 years before undergoing a second bone density test. Only 10 percent of the women studied developed osteoporosis during the 15 year period. A family practice specialist and the lead author of the Fosamax and osteoporosis research, Dr. Margaret Gourlway, told the New York Times, which reported on the study’s findings, that “she and her colleagues were surprised by how slowly women progressed to osteoporosis.”
Concerns over the serious side effects of bisphosphonates, including the possibility of a Fosamax broken femur, make the study’s findings especially alarming. The study suggests that doctors may have overestimated the occurrence and progression of osteoporosis, and overprescribed treatments of bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax. Medical professionals are reconsidering prescribing Fosamax for osteoporosis, especially when they consider the serious Fosamax side effects that can occur. According to the New York Times, the study’s findings are causing many doctors and health care professionals to reevaluate how to diagnose osteoporosis. The Times suggests that doctors should consider other factors in addition to bone density tests when deciding whether patients need treatment. Moreover, if doctors prescribe Fosamax for osteoporosis, many health care experts recommend that patients take a “drug holiday” after five years of continuous use. These steps many help to reduce the risk of patients developing a Fosamax broken femur.
Side Effects May Include Fosamax Broken Femur
According to the New York Times, since Fosamax was approved in 1995, there has been a surge in bone density screenings. Because Medicare pays for a bone density exam every two years, researchers suspect that doctors were led to believe that it was the right interval for testing, which has resulted in overprescribing Fosamax for osteoporosis. However, there are serious side effects associated with Fosamax, suggesting that the risks may outweigh the drug’s benefits. Studies have shown that there is a link between the bisphosphonate and an atypical Fosamax femur fracture, especially when the drug is taken for a prolonged length of time. A broken femur is an unusual injury that generally only occurs following a traumatic event such as a car accident. However, researchers are seeing more and more of these broken femurs following long-term use of bisphosphonates in the face of non-traumatic events. “We are seeing people just walking, walking down the steps, patients who are doing low-energy exercise,” said Dr. Kenneth Egol, professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. “Very unusual, the femur is one of the strongest bones in the body.”
Contact A Fosamax Lawyer
The Fosamax lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are actively filing cases on behalf of individuals who took Fosamax for osteoporosis and sustained a broken femur. If you or a loved one took Fosamax and suffered from a broken femur, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact a lawyer today for a free and confidential case evaluation.