Information about Osteoporosis and the Controversial Drug Fosamax
The controversial drug Fosamax is prescribed to patients suffering from osteoporosis, a deterioration of the bones due to calcium deficiency. Health complications brought on by Fosamax include femur fractures and jaw necrosis, the irreversible deterioration of the jaw bone.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects bone density and strength. As we age, our bones lose the strength and durability they once had, and can more easily fracture or break.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis can affect any bone in the body, but “the wrist, the pelvis and the spine” are most commonly reported. An estimated “10 million Americans already have osteoporosis and 34 million are at risk.” (The National Osteoporosis Foundation)
Osteoporosis can compromise a person’s ability to perform many of their daily activities. For example:
Paul is a 75 year old man who is the proud grandfather of three young grandchildren. Initially, he did not know that he had osteoporosis, but after he broke his hip during a fall, his doctor formally diagnosed him with the disease. Paul feels depressed, isolated and helpless because he can no longer play with his grandchildren as he used to.
Osteoporosis: Much More Than A Bone Disease
Osteoporosis can lead to additional health complications. It can result in severe pain and compromised posture (stooping or hunching). In some extreme cases, osteoporosis can also result in death. “Twenty percent of seniors who break a hip, die within one year from problems related to the broken bone itself, or surgery performed to repair it” (National Osteoporosis Foundation) Others require complicated medical treatments or at home care, which can be expensive.
The following are just a few symptoms of osteoporosis:
- Diminished height as a result of a weakened spine
- Cramps in the legs
- Bone pain and tenderness
- Tooth loss
- Brittle fingernails
It should be noted that even when the aforementioned symptoms are apparent, some people might not necessarily connect them with osteoporosis. This is why it is so important to have regular doctor’s visits, and to keep yourself abreast of family medical history, in order to access osteoporosis risk.
Weitz and Luxenberg is dedicated to providing the public with the latest osteoporosis and Fosamax information. If you have any inquiries regarding Fosamax and how it affects osteoporosis patients, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our firm.
Controversial Drug Fosamax A Horror for Osteoporosis Patients
On March 8th, 2010, ABC news reported that long term use of Fosamax might do more harm for bones than good. The drug is part of the bisphosphonate class and is prescribed by medical professionals to “slow bone loss which can lead to fractures”. (Drugs.com)
Sandy, a 59 year old woman from Queens, New York, was 48 when she was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Her doctor prescribed Fosamax, which she took for eight years prior to breaking her femur while jumping rope with children in her neighborhood.
“I went up in the air and I came straight down to the ground,” said Sandy. “The pain was excruciating.”
Kenneth Egol, professor of orthopedic surgery at the NYU Lagone Medical Center, addressed the disturbing trend of Fosamax patients who suffer serious bone injuries while performing activities less rigorous than jumping rope.
“We are seeing people walking and doing low energy exercise,” he said. “Very unusual, the femur is one of the strongest bones in the body.”
While analyzing the X-rays of his patients, Egol noticed that the injuries looked like the kinds one would sustain in a high impact accident, like a car crash, not a minimal fall.
After countless complaints regarding Fosamax, manufacturers Merck and Co., took sixteen months to add femur fractures to the list of possible side effects. The company released the following statement to ABC News:
“Nothing is more important to Merck than the safety of its medicines. A casual association has not been established between long term bisphosphonate use and subtrochanteric femoral fractures. In clinical studies, Fosamax has not been associated with increased fracture risk at any skeletal site. The company currently has several ongoing epidemiological studies to further investigate the issue of subtrochanteric femoral fractures.”
Weitz and Luxenberg can help osteoporosis patients who have suffered from taking Fosamax
Weitz and Luxenberg understands that trying to accomplish daily activities while battling a disease as debilitating as osteoporosis, can be stressful and challenging. When a person is afflicted by an illness, be it osteoporosis or any other disease, they should not have to endure further hardships as a result of taking treatment medication.
If you have suffered additional fractures due to Fosamax, please contact Weitz and Luxenberg for a free legal consultation.
Discontinuing Fosamax Use Fosamax can cause serious injuries: know why and how to stop taking the drug
Stopping your Fosamax regimen: the risks and benefits
The history of fosamax An overview of the history of Fosamax
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Why is Fosamax prescribed? Fosamax is prescribed to treat bone conditions, but contains serious health risks
Conditions for which doctors prescribe Fosamax: information about conditions and risks