Bisphosphonates are a type of osteoporosis medication that work by interrupting the process of bone degradation. Bone undergoes constant turnover and is kept in balance by osteoblasts—bone cells that create bone—and osteoclasts—bone cells that destroy bone—working at similar rates. Bisphosphonates inhibit the digestion of bone by encouraging osteoclasts to undergo cell death, reducing the rate of bone loss. But certain bisphosphonate side effects associated with long term use of bisphosphonates have altered the risk/benefit analysis doctors must undertake when prescribing the medications, including:
- Femur fractures
- Atrial fibrillation (heart arrhythmia)
- Esophageal cancer
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ or “dead jaw”)
One of the most popular bisphosphonates, Fosamax, has been in the news lately for its apparent association with femur fractures. This long term Fosamax use side effect has been demonstrated in a number of medical studies, including this one by a researcher with financial ties to bisphosphonate products. In 2008, an article in the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma linked problems with Fosamax to a rare type of fracture in the femur. The study looked at 70 patients who experienced low-energy femur fractures, which occur when someone falls from a standing height or less.
Studies seem to suggest that Fosamax long term use creates a greater risk of bisphosphonate side effects like femur fractures, with some studies focusing on use of three years or longer. Because Fosamax long term use was not considered a risk by prescribing physicians, frequently Fosamax users took the drug for many years.
A Fosamax femur lawsuit attorney can help you with determining the statute of limitations for a potential bisphosphonate claim. The Spangenberg law firm has provided information on potential bisphosphonate and Fosamax lawsuits at www.my-fosamax-lawsuit.com. The website provides information on Fosamax femur fractures and other possibly Fosamax-related side effects. The Spangenberg law firm can also be reached at 1-877-696-3303 and provides free, confidential case reviews.
Note: Consult Your Physician About Fosamax Side Effects
Some side effects for Fosamax, Fosamax long term side effects, and Fosamax long term effects may not be reported at the time of this writing. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/ or 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088). Problems with Fosamax should not be ignored.