A new study has once again linked the osteoporosis drug Fosamax to rare atypical femoral fractures in women. The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which is a publication of the American Medical Association (AMA). Bisphosponates like Fosamax (alendronate) are intended to improve bone density to prevent fractures, but a growing body of evidence seems to show that long-term female users of these drugs have an increased risk of atypical femur fractures. This study coincides with a new FDA study presented in the New England Journal of Medicine which questions the efficacy of bisphosponates in the long-term, instead suggesting that short-term use may be more effective.
It has been suspected that Fosamax femur fractures are occurring in users of the medication.
The study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that the longer a patient took Fosamax, the greater the risk became of suffering an atypical femoral fracture. The study looked at 477 patients fifty years and older who were hospitalized at one university medical center with subtrochanteric or femoral shaft fractures. They found that among those with atypical fractures, 82% had taken bisphosphonates. The study noted the conflicting studies on the effect of these drugs on femur fractures, but seemed to indicate that the correlation was a matter of magnitude, not of existence. It has been suspected that Fosamax femur fractures are occurring in users of the medication because the drug prevents the outer layer of bone cells from being replaced by normal bone remodeling.
In March of 2010, the FDA announced a possible link between oral bisophonates and rare femur fractures, and later updated the drug’s label to include this risk. It has been estimated that Merck faces over 3,000 product liability lawsuits alleging problems with both femur fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). Fosamax is manufactured by Merck and Co. and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995.
Women may experience excruciating pain from a broken femur, which is one of the strongest bones in the body. If you or someone you know has experienced an injury of this type after taking Fosamax, you may be able to enter a lawsuit against the manufacturer Merck. It has been alleged that Merck did not properly inform patients of the risks of femur fractures in Fosamax users. For a free consultation, tell us about your situation in the case review form on the right. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.