Many people have been filing Fosamax lawsuits because there is evidence indicating that the drug, manufactured by Merck, causes femur fractures and jawbone death in people who take it to combat osteoporosis. Those concerned about these side effects may wish to find out about alternatives to taking bisphosphonates.
The latest research has unearthed another potential side effect as suggested by a new Canadian study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Data shows that first-time Fosamax users might have an increased chance of developing certain inflammatory eye disorders while taking the drug to combat osteoporosis.
Patients Could Develop Uveitis and Scleritis
Researchers at the Child and Family Research Institute at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver looked at over 934,000 people who visited ophthalmologists between 2000 and 2007. Of those patients, almost 11,000 were users of a bisphosphonate drug like Fosamax. Data collected showed that for every 10,000 patients who were taking Fosamax or another bisphosphonate for the first time, for a year, 29 developed uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, and 63 developed scleritis, an inflammation of the outer wall of the eye. Both conditions can be serious, with the potential to cause blindness, if not promptly treated. Drug-induced eye inflammation is usually reversible when treated with corticosteroids, and cessation of the drug believed to have caused the inflammation. The overall risk for first-time Fosamax users is estimated to be at 45 percent.
Dr. Mahyar Etminan, a researcher associated with the study, said, “Our study highlights the need for clinicians to inform their patients about the signs and symptoms of scleritis and uveitis, so that prompt treatment can be sought and further complications averted.” Dr. Etminan also suggested that the risk of these disorders needs to be highlighted in the package inserts included with bisphosphonates like Fosamax.
Dr. Claire Bowring, Medical Policy Manager of the National Osteoporosis Society in the United Kingdom, commented, “This study seems to confirm what has been reported previously – that inflammation of the eye is a rare adverse side effect and is already currently listed in the Patient Information Leaflets in packages of bisphosphonate treatment here in the UK.”
She added, “We welcome further understanding of the risks linked with bisphosphonate therapy and this study adds to our knowledge.”
Osteoporosis Patients Should Consult a Physician About Fosamax
Although Fosamax has helped many people keep the effects of osteoporosis in check, there might be alternatives that can be utilized instead of the drug. Very often, lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications and the addition of exercise can help strengthen bones and help reverse bone loss. Only a qualified medical professional, however, can advise whether osteoporosis can be treated without medication. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of a drug like Fosamax in order to determine whether it is right for you.
RLG Represents Injured Fosamax Users
If you have been taking Fosamax for an extended period of time and have suffered a femur fracture, it could be because of the medication, and you might be eligible for compensation by filing a femur fracture lawsuit against Merck. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group can help. Our Fosamax lawyers have over 25 years of collective experience advocating for clients in consumer product injury and mass tort cases. Please fill out our contact form or call us at 1-877-332-2347, and one of our lawyers will be in touch.
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