Symptoms of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
Starting in the year 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began receiving complaints that drugs meant to treat osteoporosis, bisphosphonates, caused a ghastly condition called “osteonecrosis of the jaw” (ONJ). Osteonecrosis means “bone death,” which is what happens to bone tissue when the blood flow to that area is cut off. Scientific studies published in 2004 and 2005 substantiated the connection, and the FDA ordered that all bisphosphonate manufacturers, including Merck & Co., which makes Fosamax (alendronate sodium), update their drugs’ labels to warn consumers and physicians of the risks the drugs create.
Fosamax Users Sue Merck over ONJ
The pharmaceutical companies did as the FDA told them to, but for Merck, the situation is different: thousands of Fosamax users sued Merck alleging that the drug caused them to suffer ONJ. The following symptoms characterize ONJ, and if you have any of them, you might be eligible for compensation in a lawsuit against Merck:
- Pain: At first, ONJ can be painless, but as it worsens, people experience pain, especially while chewing. It might become so bad that Fosamax users might be unable to open and shut their mouths properly.
- Numbness: As the condition worsens, people might lose feeling in their jaws.
- Gum and Tooth Problems: ONJ can spread to the gums and teeth, causing additional pain, swelling, infection, incomplete healing, gum loss, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
- Exposed Bone: If gums become infected and do not heal properly, the jaw bone itself might become exposed. At this point, surgery is likely to be the only solution to ONJ.
Patient populations at the highest risk of developing ONJ are those who are older and have recently undergone dental procedures. Those taking Fosamax should be extra mindful of the side effects that can occur after surgery.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw can be corrected, but the earlier it is detected, the quicker permanent jaw damage can be prevented. If you have any of the above symptoms, contact your dentist immediately.
Contact RLG for a Free Fosamax ONJ Lawsuit Consultation
If you have been taking Fosamax and your dentist diagnosed you with ONJ, it might not just be bad luck. It might be because of the drug’s effects on your bones. Scientific research has connected Fosamax to osteonecrosis, which increases the possibility of obtaining compensation from Merck in a Fosamax ONJ lawsuit for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. For a free, confidential consultation with a lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group, click on this link or call 1-877-476-1516.