While Fosamax has been prescribed for nearly a decade as part of osteoporosis treatment regimens, growing documentation on Fosamax’s side effects has led to increased concern about how safe and effective this medication really is. For instance, the latest side effect linked to Fosamax is cardiac arrhythmias.

This most recent finding occurred in 2008 with the culmination of a study conducted at the University of Washington. The study, led by researcher Susan Heckbert, found that post-menopausal women taking Fosamax were at a significantly higher risk of developing atrial fibrillations (irregular heartbeats) than those not on Fosamax.

What is an Arrhythmia and Atrial Fibrillation?

An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat that causes the heart to either beat faster or slower than it normally should. Although arrhythmias can come in various forms, an atrial fibrillation is among the rarest, most serious types of arrhythmia.

With an atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart can beat up to 8 times faster each minute than a normal heart would. In more specific terms, this means that a person with atrial fibrillation will have between 400 and 600 heartbeats each minute, whereas a healthy heart only beats between 60 and 100 per minute.

While atrial fibrillation is usually symptomatic of heart disease, certain medications, such as Fosamax, may also cause this heart condition. Unfortunately, atrial fibrillation usually becomes permanent once a patient develops it.

Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms

Symptoms of a Fosamax heart condition such as atrial fibrillation may include:

  • blood clots
  • chest pain
  • fainting
  • general fatigue
  • inflammation
  • loss of endurance
  • palpitations

Keep in mind, however, that many cases of atrial fibrillation exist without any noticeable symptoms. As a result, those taking Fosamax should receive regular checkups and physical exams to monitor their heart and identify any Fosamax side effects as soon as they occur.

Diagnosed with a Fosamax-Caused Heart Condition?

If you or a loved one has been taking Fosamax and has been diagnosed with a heart condition such as atrial fibrillation, you may wish to have an attorney evaluate your case. Individuals who have suffered serious harm as a result of taking Fosamax may be entitled to file a legal claim to recover money for medical expenses and other costs.

To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us today.

Published November 17, 2011 by