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Fosamax ONJ & Femur Fracture Lawsuit

fosamax-lawsuits-free-brochure-banner-170x250The osteoporosis drug alendronate sodium (or alendronic acid)—sold under the brand names Fosamax or Fosamax+D—has caused some users to fracture their femurs or experience some other harmful bone-related side effects, according to researchers.

If you have taken Fosamax and you believe it caused you to fracture your femur or suffer some other negative side effect, you need a sympathetic advocate who will represent only your interests—and who will make the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries as painless as possible. The Rottenstein Law Group, a Fosamax law firm, knows this, and we want you to believe it. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.

What Is Fosamax, and What Is It Used For?

Fosamax is the brand name for the drug alendronate sodium. Prescribed for post-menopausal women and men with osteoporosis, Fosamax works by reducing bone degeneration, a process referred to as “resorption.” Related to natural bone-regulating chemicals, the drug does not inhibit bone mineralization. Consequently, one can take alendronate sodium along with calcium and vitamin D supplements and see some bone mineralization. Unfortunately, the human body does not absorb the drug well, and much of it is excreted through the kidneys.

Fosamax was first discovered and sold by the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. and was originally approved for sale in the United States by the FDA in September 1995. Merck’s patent for the drug expired in 2008, despite the pharmaceutical company’s appeals to block generic versions of alendronate sodium from going to the market. Now, Barr Pharmaceuticals manufactures the drug as well.

Merck continues to sell Fosamax, and it also combines it with vitamin D, selling it as Fosamax+D. Before losing its patent protection, Merck’s Fosamax sales totaled $3 billion in 2007, and by that time it had been prescribed more than 20 million times.

Fosamax is sold 5mg, 10mg, 40mg, oral tablets taken daily and in 35mg and 70mg oral tablets for weekly use. It must be taken without food and users must fast for a time to allow the drug to take effect.

Fosamax Might Cause Harmful Side Effects, Including Femur Fractures

Fosamax Femur Fracture Lawsuit Xray Image The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued numerous Fosamax warnings, but neither Merck nor generic manufacturers have initiated a Fosamax recall. Due to the drug’s numerous bone-related side effects, hundreds of Fosamax lawsuits have been filed, but the Rottenstein Law Group does not know of any Fosamax class action lawsuits. One New York jury awarded a woman $8 million dollars in damages but Merck is appealing the award as excessive.

Since 2000, the FDA has known about Fosamax’s tendency to cause osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) when bisphosphonates are given to cancer patients. ONJ is a painful, disfiguring bone disease that affects people’s jaw bones, specifically the bone mass in the mandible (lower jaw bone) and maxilla (upper jaw bone) die. Usually this is caused by a badly performed tooth extraction procedure that leaves a portion of jaw bone exposed. It then becomes infected and the jaw bone begins dying off. In extreme circumstances, the patient’s jaw bone must be removed to prevent further bone damage. The agency monitored the problem and required a label change on Fosamax in 2005.

More recently, a study conducted by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) found that Fosamax use correlates to sudden unusual bone fractures, particularly in the thigh bone (femur). The FDA refers to these as subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femur fractures, and on October 13, 2010, it announced that it would require a labeling change to all bisphosphonate products, including Fosamax. Atypical subtrochanteric femur fractures are very rare, but they appear more common among long-term Fosamax takers. The ASBMR study investigated 310 cases of atypical femur fractures, finding that 291 of them were on bisphosphante. Fosamax users who experience any thigh pain should contact their physicians promptly.

Merck Announces Fosamax Jaw Death Lawsuit Settlement

On December 9, 2013, Merck announced its intention to settle 1,140 ONJ lawsuits it faces in federal and state courts for $28 million. In order for the settlement to take effect, all the plaintiffs must participate. Thus far, Merck has won five ONJ bellwether trials in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) and New Jersey multicounty litigation (MCL), but it lost two as well. With the mixed trial results, in September 2013, the ONJ MDL judge, John Keenan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered that all cases be remanded to their respective federal district courts for adjudication. The MDL was created in 2006. The settlement gave ONJ plaintiffs until January 13, 2014, to signal their intent to join the settlement.

RLG’s Fosamax Lawyers Will Help With Your Fosamax Problems

The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The Fosamax lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that getting satisfaction from the company that harmed you shouldn’t be just more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process.

If you have taken Fosamax and experienced one of the above side effects, contact RLG today.

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rlg Previous Comments

  1. Guest
    on July 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I have a stress fracture in my femur, which my Dr. says is a Fosamax stress fracture. The Dr. says he never heard of someone getting it, already having a rod in my leg.

  2. Guest
    on June 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I took Fosamax several years ago and all of a sudden my fillings started falling out, sides of my teeth fell off, then caps fell out. My mandible hurts and I feel my teeth are moving. At this point I need to go to the dentist. I am getting tooth aches and cannot eat many food. Unfortunately, I am on disability and do not have the funds to go to the dentist for work done. Due to these side effects, I was instructed to immediately stop taking Fosamax. I also fell 1 1/2 yrs ago on my right side and fx my fibula. I was tested and now injecting myself with Forteo every day and taking Vitamin D with Calcium. I have osteoporosis and have rods along both sides of my spine and they are anchored into my pelvis with screws and a hook. I am in extreme pain where the hook and screw is in my pelvis and my hip joint is hurting where I limp now and limited my activities. I need financial help now for my teeth to be worked on!! My doctor even said the pharmaceutical company should fix my teeth.

    1. Guest
      on July 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I only took Fosamax for about 6 months..but then my teeth started breaking off the gum line requiring me to undergo the painful surgical removal of the remaining roots. I lost six teeth in one year, three at one time while teaching a class. The problem continued after I stopped taking it. But last month, I had to have all my upper teeth removed because they couldn't fill the gaps anymore or anchor partials to moving teeth. It is horrible, it has changed my life. I tried to get compensation but the lawyers said I didn't qualify since I had only taken it for about 6 months.

  3. Guest
    on May 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I did not break a leg. I had two fractures in my sacrum that were unexplained and had to have to sacroplasty. I took it about 8 years. I have been looking for a law firm that will take my case because the doctor says this will probably happen again. I spent 8 weeks trying to get the fractures to heal and they didn't, so they super-glued me back together. Surely there are people who had other breaks other than tibia fractures.

  4. Guest
    on December 13, 2011 at 5:18 am

    In September of this year, I fell backwards because I tried to step over a baby gate. I totally thrashed my right wrist requiring titanium plates and screws but also fractured my right tibia. Not a big fracture but small fractures around the top and muscle spasms galore! If I moved my right leg and it didn't like it, spasms for about 10 seconds. Now it just hurts when I climb the stairs or when I've been on my feet for a while. I'm on alendronate sodium from Watson. I have taken Fosamax in the past, just the generic kind. The VA doesn't like brand name meds because if they're too expensive, they go for the next one lower. I have been taking this stuff for many years. When I was 20, the Navy removed my pituitary gland because of a tumor. That was in 1979. I'm 53 now and take a medicine cabinet full of drugs each day. I have osteoporosis and epilepsy from the surgery.

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