Alendronic acid or alendronate sodium is sold as Fosamax in the United States. Fosamax is a bisphosphaonate drug used for osteoporosis and several other bone diseases. It is marketed alone as well as in combination with vitamin D (2,800 IU and 5600 IU, under the name Fosamax+D). It inhibits osteoclast-mediated bone-resorption. Like all bisphosphonates, it is chemically related to inorganic pyrophosphate, the endogenous regulator of bone turnover. Whereas pyrophosphate and the first bisphosphonate, etidronate, are capable of inhibiting both osteoclastic bone resorption as well as the mineralization of the bone newly formed by osteoblasts, Fosamax specifically inhibits bone resorption without any effect on mineralization at pharmacologically achievable doses.

Long term use of Fosamax has been shown to cause femoral fractures, dead jaw syndrome, gastrointestinal ulcerations and an increased risk of cancer. If you or a loved one has taken Fosamax, please read on for facts about the product and the litigation surrounding it.

Facts about Fosamax:

  • Has been linked in long-term users to the development of low-impact femoral fractures.
  • In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the safety of bisphosphonates and concluded that osteonecrosis of the jaw could be a risk for the class of drugs as a whole, not just those that are administered intravenously.
  • December 31, 2008, the FDA reported Fosamax may carry an increased risk for esophageal cancer.
  • Cases of skin rash, rarely manifesting as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, eye problems and generalized muscle, joint, and bone pain have also been reported.
  • On October 13, 2010, the FDA issued an alert to doctors about the possibility of severe bone pain related to bisphosphonate drugs such as Fosamax.

Litigation News:

  • On May 23, 2011, The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered that all Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits pending in federal courts be consolidated and centralized in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

If you have taken, or are taking Fosamax and have suffered an atypical femur break, find out how Johnson//Becker PLLC can help you. Fill out our case review form here on our website and submit it for a free consultation.