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Bone Injuries from Bone Strengthening Medication?

Many people know Fosamax as a medication that prevents the brittle bones that are associated with osteoporosis, supposedly preventing injuries that often accompany the disease. However, in the mid 2000s reports began to surface that the medication had serious side effects that actually damaged people's bones, causing many to take legal action against the drug's manufacturer, Merck & Co.

Intended Use for Fosamax

Doctors prescribe Fosamax and other bisphosphonates to prevent or treat osteoporosis. The patients who take Fosamax are postmenopausal women, men and women with osteoporosis from steroid use or other causes and those with Paget's disease. Bisphosphonates work by interrupting the body's natural process of bone rejuvenation wherein the body builds up and breaks down of bone over time. The medication kills osteoclasts, cells that destroy bone, giving people taking the medication greater bone density.

Injuries from Fosamax

Patients who took Fosamax and other bisphosphonates for long periods of time developed several adverse side effects. One of the side effects was femur fractures. The fractures occurred spontaneously, without the usual amount of trauma necessary to break the strongest bone in the body. Doctors categorize the femur fractures associated with Fosamax as "low energy," meaning that they occurred from a height of standing or lower. In 2010, the FDA changed the warning label on Fosamax to include a warning about the increased rate of femur fractures in patients who took the medication after a study of 300 such fractures revealed that 94 percent of the patients had been taking bisphosphonates for five years or longer.

Patients taking Fosamax have also developed Osteonecrosis of the jaw, also called ONJ or "dead jaw," where facial bone begins to die due to lack of blood. The condition is painful and often permanently disfiguring.

Atrial fibrillation and esophageal cancer are also conditions some patients taking Fosamax have suffered.

Legal Action for Injuries from Fosamax

Currently there are two class action lawsuits against Merck & Co. alleging that the manufacturer failed to properly research the medication and that it failed to properly warn consumers of the potential risk of developing ONJ.

Additionally, over 900 hundred people have filed individual lawsuits against Merck & Co. by people who used Fosamax and sustained injuries resulting from the medication.

If you have experienced adverse side effects as a result of taking Fosamax or other bisphosphonates, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can discuss your situation with you and advise you of your options.

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