Osteoporosis Drug Fosamax May Actually Weaken Bones
July 15, 2008: Fosamax, a popular drug for treating osteoporosis, has been linked to a rare type of leg fracture that cuts straight across the upper thighbone after little or no trauma. Typically, fractures in this strong part of the bone result from car accidents, or occur in the elderly and frail. But a recent series of case reports show the unusual fracture pattern in people who have used bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, for five years or more.
In some cases, Fosamax patients have reported that, after weeks or months of unexplained aching, their thighbones simply snapped while they were walking or standing. According to a doctor who treated patients with these unusual leg fractures, some women were convinced that their bones broke, “…before they hit the ground.”
In an unusual autobiographical case report published in the medical journal Geriatrics, Dr. Jennifer Schneider, a 59-year-old physician, wrote that she was riding a New York City subway when the train lurched. ”I felt a crack and I fell,” she recalled in an interview with the New York Times. ”I knew I’d fractured my femur.” Dr. Schneider had been taking Fosamax for seven years, and although she had experienced pain in her thigh, x-rays and scans never revealed a problem.
This is not the first time that osteoporosis drugs have been tied to bone problems. In recent years, bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, have been tied to a medical condition called Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ), an extremely painful and disfiguring jaw bone disease that causes the jaw bone to decay and die, making it difficult to eat or even speak.
In addition to ONJ, bisphosphonates, like Fosamax, have been known to cause severe bone, joint, and muscle (musculoskeletal) pain in some patients. Fosamax may also double women’s risk of developing the chronic heart condition known as atrial fibrillation, which causes a recurring irregular heart beat.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that you suspect is associated with bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, Actonel, Aredia, Boniva, Zometa, or any other medication, our experienced defective drug lawyers can confidentially inform you of your legal rights and options at no cost or obligation to you. Contact Us Today.