Fosamax, or Alendronate, is a prescription drug aimed at healing osteoporosis and other conditions that result in bone deterioration. It was introduced in the United States in 1995 and its side effects are not unlike those of other drugs in the same drug family, known as biphosphonates.
But in 2004, Fosamax and similar drugs were linked to a rare but serious condition known as Dead Jaw or Osteonecrosis, which is the dying of bone tissue in the jawbone. The condition normally occurs after surgery or minor trauma in which the bone is exposed. It has also been known to cause fractures and infection, often requiring surgery and long-term antibiotics.
Symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw include:
- Heaviness and numbness of the jaw
- Pain and swelling of the gums
- Gum infections
- Slow healing of the gums
- Loose teeth
Since 2001, over 2,400 patients taking biphosphonate medications including Fosamax reported having had osteonecrosis. Another 120 reported having suffered from such severe symptoms that they are bedridden or require walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs.
Fosamax can also irritate the esophagus, and recently it was discovered that taking it in combination with Naproxin, a popular arthritis drug, could significantly raise the risk of developing stomach ulcers.
After a lawsuit in April 2006, the FDA requested that Merck, the maker of Fosamax, add a stronger warning label on the drug packaging. Amazingly, Merck failed to comply.
If you or a loved one has been taking Fosamax and have experienced any of the symptoms listed, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also seek a qualified Fosamax lawyer who can help you recover damages you may be entitled to. Be aware, however, that there may be time limits by which you must file your complaint.
Contact our Personal Injury Lawyers and Attorneys today to find an experienced Fosamax lawyer.