Fosamax Femur Fracture Risk Examined in Medical Journal

  • Written by: AboutLawsuits

A new case report about an unusual Fosamax femur fracture risk indicates that a bone development imbalance may be linked to long-term use of the osteoporosis drug.

In the current issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, a clinical vignette examines a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis with multiple risks for bone fractures who took Fosamax for eight years and developed femur fractures. The report found that the patient had an imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation at the site of a rare femur fracture known as a spontaneous bilateral subtrochanteric/diaphyseal fracture.

Fosamax (alendronate sodium), which is a member of a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates, is prescribed for treatment of osteoporosis. The drug is manufactured by Merck & Co., and generated over $3 billion in annual sales before it became available as a generic last year.

Merck currently face nearly 1,000 Fosamax lawsuits filed by users who allege that side effects of the drug, which is designed to strengthen bones, can cause decay of the jawbone, known as osteonecrosis of the jaw.

The recent case report is not the first indication that side effects of Fosamax may also increase the risk of femur fractures. A study published in the May/June 2008 issue of the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma found a femur fracture pattern that was 98% specific to Fosamax users when reviewing 70 low-energy femur fractures that were typically caused by falls from a standing height or less. The study also found that the average duration of Fosamax use was longer among those who had signs of these specific femur fractures than those who did not.

While the case report in the current issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research does not establish that a causal relationship exists between Fosamax and femur fractures, the findings indicate that extended use of Fosamax may be a factor and further study is necessary.

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  1. Marcia Reply

    I had femur fractures and I had surgery September 2008 and had rods put in both legs. I had no injuries, I am not an athlete. I was on Fosamax for almost 5 years. I noticed problems with my legs around September 2007. I had discomfort and could not walk correctly. I put off the surgery until September 2008 because it was discovered I had breast cancer (non invasive ) April 2008 when I had 2 surgeries. When I started to my regular doctor and my orthopedic dr they could not figure out why or how I had the femur stress fractures. When I found out information about Fosamax I showed it to them but they did not seem aware of these findings about femur fractures possibly linked to Fosamax. I am going to my doctor for follow up on a bone density scan and will see how my osteoporisis is, but I will not take any meds for it, it seems all the meds out there have bisphosphonates in them. I am walking better but still have some discomfort in my legs a year later.

  2. irene Reply

    I was on fosamax for 13 yrs (from Oct 1995-2008) for osteoporosis that converted to osteopenia with tx. I am firm believer that it always built bone mass but not strength.
    In Oct 2008 while vacationing in Cairo, Egypt I had a low impact fall (standing to the street) resulting in a subtrochanteric displaced spiral fx of the L femur.
    I had IM rod inserted there. I had a very long & painful healing process & it is not over yet.
    So I consider myself an iatrogenic statistic of Fosamax.

  3. linda Reply

    I have broken my femurs 4 times in 2 years. I was on Fosamax for 5 years.The first break occurred because I fell, the second was spontaneous and the last 2 because of falls.

    Now, I have a rod in one leg and a solid rod, plate, cables and pins in the other.

    The docs feel Fosamax started me on this road

  4. Chandrika Reply

    I had a subtrochanteric fractur femur due to a fall , which looked like as though I was in a car wreck. It was so displaced , 2 pieces , and my femoral artery was kinked , causing temporay blockage of circulation. It took 3-4 hrs to fix the fracture, 24 days in hospital and rehab. I am still on one crutch after 7 months and facing 2 more surgeries. I have been on acteonol for 6 years. I do feel that I had osteopenia and my result of Bone density improved to 1.2 but the cost I paid for is too high. More awareness is required. If I knew I would have not taken it. I ignored my thigh pains as they they were due to work outs. Thank you.

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