What is Fosamax?
Fosamax (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate, a class of drugs approved by the FDA in 1995 to increase bone mass and reduce the risk of fracture in those with osteoporosis. Post-menopausal women are especially susceptible to this type of increased bone loss and are prime candidates for the Merck-manufactured Fosamax.
Fosamax Side effects
The irony of Fosamax is that while the drug is designed to strengthen bones, studies and reports are now indicating that by inhibiting new bone from generating, the medication may instead cause bones to break. Those taking Fosamax for more than five years are reporting significant bone fractures, including breaks in the femur, the hardest bone in the body. In fact, research has shown that women taking Fosamax over extended periods of time are 125 times more likely to suffer a femur fracture from a fall than women who don’t take the drug.
It’s alleged that Merck knew about these potential side effects for years. After the FDA contacted Merck in 2008 regarding the medication’s link to femur fractures, it took the drug manufacturer well over a year to add femur fractures to the list of potential side effects in Fosamax packaging.
In addition to femur fractures, studies have also shown that Fosamax can also cause osteonecrosis of the jaw (‘ONJ’), a rare but serious bone disease affecting the jaw that occurs when the jaw bone deteriorates due to a lack of blood flow. Osteonecrosis literally meaning ‘death of bone’, and is marked by pain, swelling, infection, exposed bone and usually requires surgical removal of the bone and any infected teeth.
Trust Our Team to Help You File a Fosamax Lawsuit
In June 2010, firm partner Gary Douglas co-tried the first successful Fosamax lawsuit in the country against Merck, in which a jury returned a verdict of $8 million dollars to a woman suffering from ONJ as a result of her use of Fosamax.
Trials and lawsuits regarding this risky drug are ongoing.