The prescription drug Fosamax is made by the pharmaceutical company Merck.  Fosamax is used to treat osteoporosis and Paget’s disease.  Fosamax is associated with a number of side effects including rare femur fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).  The FDA required Merck to place new warnings on their packaging to address these side effects in 2009.  If you have experienced any of these Fosamax side effects, you may want to contact a Fosamax attorney.

What’s all the Fuss about Fosamax?

Fosamax is a prescription drug manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Merck.  This drug is used to treat osteoporosis and Paget’s disease.  Fosamax works by changing unbalanced bone recycling by slowing down bone resorption and allowing for bone rebuilding.  Reports by doctors and patients indicate that there are a number of Fosamax side effects including unusual fractures of the femur, osteonecrosis of the jaw, headaches, nausea and various rashes.  ONJ involves temporary or permanent blood flow loss to the bones of the jaw.  When the jaw tissue does not receive enough blood flow, the bone tissue cannot survive and eventually dies leading to collapse of the jaw.  Fosamax femur fractures seem to occur in a subpopulation of patients that were on long-term Fosamax therapy usually for 5 years or longer.  These femur fractures were unusual in that they occurred from a sitting or standing position when the patient was doing basically nothing.  These types of fractures are known as low-energy fractures as no exercise was involved.  This mechanism is not well understood but it has been observed that the bone of these patients had high concentrations of calcium making the bone brittle.  It is thought that Fosamax slows down the production of collagen in bone, which is needed for flexibility.  Not enough collagen and too much calcium makes bone brittle and more likely to break.  Further studies are required to study the relationship between Fosamax and femur fractures.

The FDA has been made aware of Fosamax side effects but has been slow in responding.  They have required Merck to add warnings to their Fosamax packaging about bone pain and these rare femur fractures but much of this did not take place until 2009.  

Lawsuits Involving Fosamax:

Merck is now faced with a number of lawsuits due to Fosamax side effects.  It is difficult to repair a fractured femur.  Not only is it painful but it also involves long-term therapy and various medications.  ONJ is a very dangerous medical condition that is very painful and leaves serious facial deformities that ends with death of the jawbone itself.  Lawsuits against Merck claim that the company did not properly inform consumers and physicians of the risks associated with the use of Fosamax and therefore Merck was negligent in its duties to Fosamax users. 

If you have experienced Fosamax side effects such as Fosamax femur fractures, jaw bone necrosis or esophagus problems while on Fosamax you may be entitled to financial compensation. Fosamax lawsuits are currently being filed across the country.


Susan Ardizzoni, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Biology with a major in Neuroscience (medical) and minors in Biochemistry, Physics, and Mathematics with experience in basic and clinical research.  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 side effects or Fosamax femur fractures please visit

Published November 17, 2011 by