The Dangers Of Fosamax
Fosamax is a drug manufactured by Merck designed for women to offset the bone loss associated with menopause. Fosamax is part of a group of drugs called biphosphonates. Biphosphonates affect the way bones renew themselves. These drugs work by inhibiting cells from breaking down old or damaged bone, a beneficial effect that inhibits bone loss. However, they can also have a secondary effect of decreasing the formation of new bone tissue. Victims claim that taking Fosamax caused them to develop a rare problem called osteonecrosis (death of the jaw).
Until recently, Fosamax was on of the most popular drugs in the United States. However, fallout from a lawsuit and the introduction of generic versions of the drug caused Fosamax prescriptions to fall 83% since 2007 causing global sales of the drug to fall to $1.55 billion, or almost 50% compared with 2007.
Doctors believe that trauma caused by chewing and teeth grinding causes jawbone cells turnover more quickly than many other bones in the body. Recognizing the high cell turnover, biphosphonates may accumulate in the jawbone, and try to compensate by over suppressing cell turnover. This theory has led doctors to believe that biphosphonates might lead to jawbone death in patients who have dental surgery, like tooth extraction, from which the jaw needs to heal itself even more intensely.
Fosamax’ manufacturer Merck is currently involved in multi-district lawsuit in the State of New York. There are approximately 1,200 Fosamax cases in the U.S.