Oral bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, are widely prescribed to women for the treatment of osteoporosis.  However, Fosamax and other bisphosphonates have been widely criticized because of their harmful side effects.  Prolonged use of these drugs can lead to atypical femur fractures.  A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society found that patients taking Fosamax and other bisphosphonates should increase their vitamin D intake in order to increase the effectiveness of the drugs, and prevent the possibility of sustaining femur fractures.  Specifically, the study found that “as vitamin D levels increase, the more likely a patient is to have a positive response to bisphosphonates.”

Furthermore, researchers who conducted the study found that although many randomized controlled trials have shown that bisphosphonates prevent fractures and increases bone density, the average Fosamax user simply does not respond to bisphosphonates at the same rate as those seen in the randomized controlled trials.  According to Dr. Richard Bockman of Weil Cornell Medical College in New York City, “about 30 percent of patients in an osteoporosis specialty clinic who are prescribed the drugs (bisphosphonates) are typically non-responders.”

Study Lends Further Support to Bisphosphonate Debate

In conducting this latest study, researchers reviewed the charts of 160 postmenopausal patients who were taking Actonel, Boniva, Reclast, or Fosamax for at least 18 months.  The patients were classified as either responders or non-responders to the bisphosphonate drugs.  Dr. Bockman and his team found that a high percentage of non-responders, namely 54.9 percent, had insufficient levels of vitamin D.  These results led Dr. Bockman to recommend that doctors and clinicians increase and optimize vitamin D status in order to obtain the maximum benefits from bisphosphonate therapy.  Additionally, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (“JAMA”), found that among older woman, bisphosphonate treatment for more than five years was linked to an increased risk femur fractures.  The JAMA study recommended that bisphosphonate users take a drug holiday after five years of treatment.

Fosamax Femur Fracture Lawsuit

If you or a loved one sustained a femur fracture as a result of taking a bisphosphonate such as Fosamax, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.  Contact one of our Fosamax lawyers today for a free and confidential evaluation. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have extensive litigation experience, and have recovered billions of dollars for their clients. In addition to being staunch advocators for your claim, our Fosamax injury lawyers also provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.

Published November 17, 2011 by