Across the country, nearly 3,000 individuals have filed Fosamax lawsuits against Merck & Co., the company that makes the top-selling osteoporosis medication. The active ingredient in Fosamax, alendronate sodium, helps to improve bone density and prevent osteoporotic fractures. But because of its association with bone problems—including femur fractures and jaw bone necrosis—some experts have theorized that alendronate disrupts the body’s bone formation process, making bones susceptible to injury. Following up on this supposition, researchers from the Netherlands tested whether higher doses of alendronate inhibit new bone formation.
Performed on Goats, Study May Have Implications for Humans
Bone remodeling is the process by which the body replaces old bone with new bone. Two types of bone cells play a key role in bone remodeling. Osteoclasts are responsible for bone resorption, or the removal of old bone, while osteoblasts are vital for new bone formation.
Alendronate, by inhibiting osteoclasts and bone resorption, prevents bone from breaking down and therefore improves bone density. But some experts believe that Fosamax might also inhibit osteoblasts and the formation of new bone. In time, this can cause bones to weaken.
To test this theory, researchers from the Netherlands applied different concentrations of alendronate (0, 0.5 mg/mL, 1 mg/mL, 2 mg/mL, and 10 mg/mL) to bone grafts in goats. According to their results, bone resorption decreased significantly with increased alendronate concentrations after 12 weeks. Most new bone was present at 1 mg/mL alendronate.
Fosamax Lawsuits Continue to Pile Up
The study provides some measure of evidence to a phenomenon already noted by doctors: the more Fosamax a patient takes, the greater their risk of suffering a femur fracture. In fact, because of the suspected link between Fosamax and femur fractures, some doctors oppose long-term Fosamax use (typically defined as five or more years) and recommend a “drug holiday,” or temporary cessation of an alendronate regimen.
Most medical professionals do not advise that patients stop outright their use of Fosamax, as the benefits of the drug generally outweigh the small risk of a bone injury. But for patients who have actually suffered a Fosamax femur fracture, it is difficult to argue that the drug is more beneficial than dangerous.
Such patients, in order to recover from their injuries, have filed Fosamax lawsuits against Merck. Contained in three separate mass torts—two in New Jersey and one in New York—thousands of plaintiffs seek to hold the corporation responsible for their pain, suffering, and other losses.
Speak With RLG About a Potential Fosamax Lawsuit
If you suffered a femur fracture while taking Fosamax, don’t expect the company to just cut you a check. Only with experienced legal counsel do you stand a chance at obtaining compensation from Merck by filing a Fosamax lawsuit. The lawyers of the Rottenstein Law Group have been helping injured consumers for more than 25 years. To submit the details of your case, fill out this form or call 1-877-332-2347.
Learn More by Downloading RLG’s Free Fosamax Brochure