March 25, 2010

According to USA Today, over 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and almost 34 million have low bone mass, putting them at risk for spine, hip, and femur fractures.  Many of these individuals are prescribed biophosphonates such as Fosamax.  The medications have been associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) and musculoskeletal pain.  Now these drugs have been linked to femur fractures as well.  Numerous stories are surfacing of long time Fosamax users sustaining femur fractures during low impact activities. These femur fractures are particularly unusual since the femur is one of the strongest bones in the body and thus one of the hardest to fracture. Those who suffered from this unusual femur fracture are usually postmenopausal women taking biophosphonates, like Fosamax, for osteoporosis. Most of the women report taking Fosamax for at least five years or more before their fractures. According to research by Dr. Rossenwasser, orthopedic surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia Campus, problems from biophosphonate use begin to appear a few years after patients begin taking the medication.   In the research he presented on biophosphonates at the 2010  Conference of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, he stated, “In the early treatment period, patients using bisphosphonates experienced improvements in all parameters, including decreased buckling ratio and increased cross-sectional area … However, after four years of use, these trends reversed, revealing an association between prolonged therapy and declining cortical bone structural integrity.”  According to Dr. Joseph Lane, chief of metabolic bone disease at the Hospital for Special Surgery, “Normally your bone is constantly being remade … These patients don’t remake their bone and they acquire damage, microdamage, the collagen gets altered and we need to rejuvenate the skeleton.” 

FDA’s Reaction to Fosamax Femur Fractures:

In 2008, the FDA reached out to the pharmaceutical company Merck, manufacturer of Fosamax, about Fosamax femur fractures. Sixteen months later the company issued a warning in its Fosamax drug package insert to include “adverse events.”  Some medical experts believe that Merck took too long to respond to Fosamax femur fracture concerns and have suggested that is it time the FDA require that Merck send a warning letter to doctors of possible Fosamax femur fractures.

On March 3, 2010 the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication on Fosamax, explaining that the FDA is working closely with outside experts, including members of the recently convened American Society of Bone and Mineral Research Subtrochanteric Femoral Fracture Task Force, to gather additional information that may provide more insight into the connection between Fosamax and femur fractures.

Fosamax Femur Fracture Lawsuits:

Potential cases are being reviewed throughout the United States concerning Fosamax use and femur fractures. If you or a loved one has experienced a bone injury while using Fosamax, you may want to speak with a Fosamax lawyer to learn more about your rights.

AUTHOR:

Although the author is not an attorney, this article was sponsored by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP and constitutes Attorney Advertising.  To learn more about Fosamax femur fractures or speak with a Fosamax lawyer please visit www.ConsumerInjuryLawyers.com

Published November 17, 2011 by