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Indiana Woman Claims Fosamax Caused Two Femur Fractures

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Yet another woman has come forward to say that Fosamax (alendronate) caused her two femur fractures. The national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, just filed a lawsuit on behalf of an Indiana woman who suffered a left and right femur fracture after taking Fosamax.

Fosamax, an oral bisphosphonate, is in a class of drugs that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says may not provide any long-term benefits, while simultaneously increasing risks for atypical femur fractures. The lawsuit names Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Merck & Co., Inc, and other potential manufacturers as defendants and was filed on June 29th in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County Law Division (Case No. L-4565-12).

The complaint states the woman took Fosamax for years before suffering a left femur fracture in July 2010 and a right femur fracture that October. The lawsuit alleges that the woman’s long-term Fosamax use caused both thigh breaks, along with severe mental and physical pain and suffering, permanent injuries and emotional distress, economic loss due to medical expenses, and living-related expenses due to a new lifestyle. The lawsuit also alleges she would not have taken Fosamax had Merck appropriately disclosed the drug’s risks and that the defendants failed to warn consumers that Fosamax could raise risks for atypical fractures, despite that they were well aware of this defect.

Fosamax is used to treat conditions such as Paget’s disease and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Didronel, and Skelid are taken by mouth; some bisphosphonates can be administered intravenously, including Aredia, Bonefos, and Zometa, which are often used to reduce risks for bone fractures in cancer patients whose condition has spread (metastasized) to the bone. This patient population also appears to be at an increased risk for Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ), another side effect associated with the bone loss drugs.

Although Fosamax and other bisphosphonates are manufactured for the prevention of bone fractures, the lawsuit alleges that these drugs may do just the opposite. In fact, the complaint states that the drugs’ mechanism suppresses bone turnover while allowing secondary mineralization, which can cause bones to become brittle and more vulnerable to fractures when used long term. In October 2010, the FDA updated the label on Fosamax and other bisphosphonates to include the risk of atypical fractures and published a review in the New England Journal of Medicine after analyzing data from 2,342 post-menopausal women. The review concluded that little evidence exists for bisphosphonate use for more than five years.

Another recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine examined risks of femur fractures with bisphosphonate therapy, comparing patients with atypical femur fractures versus classic fractures. Overall, the researchers found that 82 percent of the atypical femur fracture group had been taking bisphosphonates.

This is not the first lawsuit concerning Fosamax and not the first lawsuit filed on behalf of a patient by Parker Waichman LLP. We just wrote that a Mississippi woman filed a lawsuit, alleging that her use of Fosamax led to a left femur fracture and other complications. The lawsuit was entered on June 29th in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County Law Division (Case No. L4568-12); states that the woman began taking Fosamax, as prescribed, in December 2005; and alleges that, in July 2010, she suffered from a left subtrochanteric femur fracture. Just prior, Parker Waichman LLP filed another lawsuit on behalf of a woman who took Fosamax and subsequently suffered a femur fracture. That lawsuit was filed on June 4th in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County Law Division (Case No. ATL-L-3854-12).

NewsInferno wrote that other recent research involving adverse event reports involving Fosamax and other bisphosphonates found that esophageal cancer risks linked with these drugs may be higher than first believed. Last summer, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication about its ongoing review of the possible connection between oral bisphosphonate drugs and increased esophageal cancer risks.

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