Fosamax (Alendronate), a medication produced by Merck & Co., is used by millions of Americans to treat osteoporosis, or bone loss, in men and women. Although Fosamax has been marketed as helping to strengthen patients’ bones and reduce their susceptibility to fractures, Fosamax can cause serious injuries. People who use this drug, may be exposed to the following Fosamax injuries:

Newest Fosamax Injuries–Esophageal Cancer

A recent study, published by the British Medical Journal, added a new injury to the list of growing Fosamax injuries: long-term users of Fosamax may face a double risk of esophageal (throat) cancer. Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus a long hollow tube that runs from the throat to the stomach and carries food a person swallows to the stomach to be digested. The normal risk of contracting throat cancer is 1 in 1,000. Patients in the study who took the drug were exposed to throat cancer at an approximate rate of 2 in 1,000. Concerns about a link between Fosamax and throat cancer first reached the public a year and a half ago, when an Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) report cited 23 cases of the cancer in Fosamax users in the U.S., and another 31 cases in Europe and Japan.

Jaw Bone Fosamax Injuries

Among other devastating Fosamax injuries is a serious bone condition known as osteonecrosis of the jaw, also referred to as “dead jaw.” Osteonecrosis is a type of bone disease that is linked to a temporary or permanent blood restriction to the affected bone(s) which results in death of bone tissue and an eventual collapse of the bone.  This Fosamax injury may begin with pain or numbness in the jaw region, then progresses to a loosening of the teeth, frequent infection of the area, and a possible removal and replacement of jaw bone.

Atypical Femur Fractures

An atypical femur fracture is yet another debilitating injury that has been added to the list of  Fosamax injuries. According to a series of case reports by ABC News and Good Morning America (as well as several other local and regional news agencies), patients who have taken the drug for five years or more are at risk of suffering this specific Fosamax injury.   Recent medical studies confirm the link between long term Fosamax use and femur fractures. 

Heart Condition

Use of Fosamax may also double women’s risk of developing the chronic heart condition known as atrial fibrillation, which causes a recurring irregular heart beat. This Fosamax injury has been reported in a study published by the University of Washington. The report found that women taking Fosamax were at a higher risk of developing this injury than those not on Fosamax.

Experiencing Fosamax Injuries?

If you or a loved one has developed any of the Fosamax injuries described above after taking Fosamax, contact us for a free, confidential case evaluation. Lawyers at our firm are currently investigating cases concerning femur fractures and ONJ. 

Published November 17, 2011 by