In 2008, the medical periodical Journal of Orthopedic Trauma published a study linking Fosamax use to low-impact femur fractures occurring at standing height or less. These femur fractures are unusual because of the way in which they form: They run horizontal to the femur rather than vertical. The study noted that two-thirds of the women who suffered these fractures had been taking Fosamax for more than seven years on average to treat osteoporosis.
Low-impact fractures such as those documented by Orthopedic Trauma occur in situations that normally do not result in bone breaks. Dr. Joseph Lane, chief of metabolic bone disease at the Hospital for Special Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, the study’s author, said, “These were peculiar fractures that would occur when the women were basically doing nothing.”
Subsequent research has not determined precisely how Fosamax causes atypical femur fractures, but scientists have proposed a few theories. One states that Fosamax slows the development of new collagen, which is a main protein found in bone tissue. Another theory holds that Fosamax slows the rate at which bones naturally repair themselves, which results in a buildup of minor damage to bones that eventually weakens them to the point that a small fracture breaks them.
FDA Investigates Femur Fractures
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) convened an advisory committee to advise the agency on what to do about Fosamax and similar drugs’ tendencies to cause femur fractures. The committee met in September 2011 and determined that Fosamax’s drug label should include more cautionary language about potential side effects that can occur after five years of continual use.
RLG Advocates for Users of defective Drugs
Although the FDA hasn’t issued a warning that Fosamax definitively causes femur fractures, the number of individuals filing Fosamax femur lawsuits continues to rise. If you took Fosamax as directed and suffered an unusual thigh bone break, you might be able to obtain compensation from Merck for medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages. The Rottenstein Law Group advocates for people harmed by defective drugs, and for a free consultation with a lawyer, click on this link or call 1-888-976-8529.