Fosamax® (generic name – Alendronate) is a type of drug known as bisphosphonates. Recently a link has been found between bisphosphonates and a serious bone disease called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).
This important discovery clearly shows that Fosamax® side effects may include osteonecrosis of the jaw.
Symptoms of bone death in the jaw include:
- infection of the gums
- loosening of the teeth
- poor healing of the gums
- numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw
- exposed bone
The discovery, published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, prompted both the US, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Novartis, the manufacturer of bisphosphonates used in cancer chemotherapy, to issue a warning to health care professionals on September 24, 2004. The warning letter contained information about bisphosphonates and the risks of osteonecrosis in the jaw.
Bisphosphonates are commonly used in tablet form such as Fosamax ® (Alendronate Sodium) to prevent and treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Stronger forms of bisphosphonates are commonly used in the management of advanced cancers that have metastasized to the bone, where the disease often causes bone pain and possibly even fractures. Several cancers can involve or metastasize to the bone, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, and others. When bisphosphonates are given in cancer chemotherapy, the drugs are given intravenously, and usually for longer periods of time.
If you have been injured by Fosamax ® side effects you may be entitled to compensation.
You may have heard that the osteoporosis drug Fosamax has been linked to sudden femur fractures. What you may not know is that many other osteoporosis drugs carry the same risk.
Fosamax and other drugs called bisphosphonates are often prescribed to prevent osteoporosis in women. These drugs are supposed to help maintain bone density after menopause, but when taken for an extended period of time, these drugs can actually damage the very bones they are supposed to protect. Women who have taken a bisphosphonate for three years or longer have an increased risk of sudden femur fractures.
The femur or thighbone is the largest and strongest bone in the body. Normally, it takes a significant amount of force to break this bone—the kind of force experienced in a car crash, motorcycle crash, or fall from a height. However, the FDA has warned that women who have a history of bisphosphonate use may break a bone while engaging in simple activities like getting out of bed or walking to the mailbox.
Popular bisphosphonates include: