A list and description of bisphosphonate medications
Bisphosphonate medications have been linked to severe injuries such as femur fracturing. Other side-effects of the drugs, such as brittle bones and osteonecrosis of the jaw, have not and are not being properly disclosed to the public. Weitz & Luxenberg is working hard at rectifying this problem by providing you with up-to-date information and helpful resources on bisphosphonates. On this page, you will find a list of the various types of bisphosphonate drugs and information about each one.
A list of bisphosphonates:
- Fosamax - generic name: alendronate - One of the more popular bisphosphonates, Fosamax is manufactured by Merck & Co. It is prescribed most commonly for osteoporosis and comes in a tablet form, but is also available in liquid form for those that have difficulties swallowing.
- Fosamax Plus D - generic name: alendronate/cholecalciferol – Similar to Fosamax, Fosamax plus D contains another chemical (cholecalciferol) which is a form of Vitamin D, and aids in the absorption of calcium.
- Zometa - generic name: zoledronic acid – Prescribed mostly to cancer patients, Zometa helps treat abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood.
- Didronel - generic name: etidronate –This medication is commonly used to treat Paget’s disease (a disease marked by the abnormal enlarging of bones), however doctors have been known to prescribe Didronel for other bone conditions.
- Reclast - generic name: zoledronic acid – This medication is used to treat a number of bone conditions including osteoporosis, Paget’s disease, and for preventing the onset of osteoporosis.
- Boniva - generic name: ibandronate –This drug is prescribed to women who have, or at risk of developing, osteoporosis. Boniva is supposed to slow bone loss, and increase bone mass.
- Actonel - generic name: risedronate –This is another multi-purpose bisphosphonate used for bone conditions. It is available in tablet form.
- Aclasta - generic name: zoledronic acid –This is a more all-purpose form of Zometa, which is used primarily for cancer patients. It is administered with an injection into a vein, or slowly via an IV.
- Aredia - generic name: pamidronate –Another bisphosphonate drug administered in liquid form directly into the bloodstream. This medication is used mostly for cancer patients with high levels of calcium in the blood.
- Atelvia - generic name: risedronate –This drug is a delayed-release form of Actonel used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is available in pill form.
- Skelid - generic name: tiludronate – This medication is used primarily to treat Paget’s disease. It is available in pill form and usually taken in regular intervals or as prescribed by a doctor.
It is important to note that all bisphosphonates contain severe health risks. Taking any one of the medications listed above puts you at risk of:
- Brittle bones
- Femur fracture
- Esophageal cancer
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw
Plus, a host of additional side-effects that range from person to person (drugs.com).
How do Bisphosphonates work?
Bisphosphonate medications are a group of drugs used to treat bone conditions such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, and Paget’s disease. They are used to slow down the natural remodeling process that the bones go through constantly. Normally, when a bone cell dies, it is instantly reabsorbed by the body at the very moment that a newborn bone cells take its place. This balancing act is what keeps our bones healthy and strong. The number of cells in our bones must stay the same – if there are too many, the bones become enlarged and disfigured; if there are too little, the bones become weak and breakable. Bone conditions like osteoporosis throw the balance off. Instead of a new bone cell instantly replacing a dead bone cell, the body cannot produce new bone cells in time. This lag throws off the balance and bones lose integrity. Bisphosphonates are designed to slow the absorbing of dead bone cells. In theory, by leaving the dead cells on the bones longer, this gives the body more time to produce new bone cells, and keeps the number of cells in the bones constant.
A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons stated that “In the early treatment period, patients using bisphosphonates experienced improvements in all parameters, including decreased buckling ratio and increased cross-sectional area…however, after four years of use, these trends reversed, revealing an association between prolonged therapy and declining cortical bone structural integrity." The FDA is aware of this and has issued an advisory warning about taking bisphosphonates for more than five years (NutritionNews.com).
Injuries sustained from a bisphosphonate drug
Those that have sustained serious injuries from taking a bisphosphonate drug have the right to pursue compensation. Weitz & Luxenberg can help you in this pursuit. Our Defective Medicine and Devices legal team is experienced and knowledgeable of the bisphosphonate controversy currently happening. We can help you file a lawsuit that can compensate you for any loses and pain and suffering you have had to endure because of a bisphosphonate drug. Contact our law firm today for a free, no obligation legal consultation. Weitz & Luxenberg wants to hear your case.