Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium) is a type of drug known as bisphosphonates. Recently a link has been found between bisphosphonates and a serious bone disease called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ aka. Dead Jaw). This important discovery clearly shows that Fosamax side effects may include osteonecrosis of the jaw, aka, dead jaw or jaw death as well as osteomyelitis of the jaw. Fosamax has also been linked to low energy femur fractures (thigh bone fractures).
The discovery, published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, prompted both the US, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Novartis, the manufacturer of bisphosphonates used in cancer chemotherapy, to issue a warning to health care professionals on September 24, 2004. The warning letter contained information about bisphosphonates and the risks of osteonecrosis in the jaw.
Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium), Zometa (Zoledronate), Didronel (Etidronate), Aredia (Pamidronate), Actonel (Risedronate), and Boniva (Ibandronate) are commonly used to treat, prevent, and even reverse bone loss associated with osteoporosis, chemotherapy, and other bone loss disorders. The Strongest forms of bisphosphonates are commonly used in the management of advanced cancers that have metastasized to the bone, where the disease often causes bone pain and possibly even fractures. Several cancers can involve or metastasize to the bone, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, and others. When bisphosphonates are given in cancer chemotherapy, the drugs are given intravenously, and usually for longer periods of time.
Side Effects Information:
Fosamax Low Energy Femur Fractures / Thigh Bone Break
Fosamax has also been linked to low energy femur fractures (thigh bone fractures).
A study in the May/June 2008 issue of the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma links Merck’s osteoporosis drug 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. Twenty-five patients (36%) were taking Fosamax for four years or more on average.
The Fosamax patients’ fractures also have some distinct characteristics. The study shows that 76% of the 25 patients had a simple fracture with a straight line across the bone. Also, a beak-like overhang on one side of the bone was observed. Furthermore, the patients’ bones didn’t look like typical osteoporotic bone; it appeared strong.
Fosamax Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
Osteonecrosis of the jaw ( ONJ ) aka. dead jaw, is a condition in which the bone tissue in the jaw fails to heal after minor trauma such as a tooth extraction, causing the bone to be exposed. The exposure can eventually lead to infection and fracture and may require long-term antibiotic therapy or surgery to remove the dying bone tissue. Experts say that prevention and early treatment of individuals using bisphosphonates such as Fosamax is extremely important in preserving the jaw bone. Individuals using Fosomax or other bisphosphonates should attempt to avoid tooth extractions and other major dental work while on the drugs.
Fosamax Osteomyelitis of the Jaw
Osteomyelitis of the jaw is an imflamation of the marrow-filled central cavity along with the cellular inbetween the trabeculae bone, along with the muscles around it.