With the publication of the recent New England Journal of Medicine study, which found that Fosamax use does correspond to an increase in atypical low-energy femur fractures, doctors are taking notice. Their response, however, is divided. Some note bisphosphonates’ benefits in reducing the likelihood of common osteoporosis-related fractures, but others are not convinced. Looking at the X-rays of some injured users, Dr. Kenneth Egol, professor of orthopedic surgery at New York University, compared the fractures to those of car accident victims, not low-impact falls.
One change doctors are making is not prescribing Fosamax for women who are merely at risk for osteoporosis, a condition called osteopenia, especially if they have low body mass indexes, suffer from falls, or smoke and drink frequently. Dr. Ken Lyles of Duke University said, “If a person is diagnosed with osteoporosis and it’s decided they should be treated with bisphosphonates, they should try the medications.”
An American Society of Bone and Mineral Research task force investigated 310 reports of people with osteoporosis who suffered atypical femur fractures. It determined that 94% were using a bisphosphonate. Said Columbia University’s Dr. Elizabeth Shane, “Based on the report, we now feel that there is a definitive relationship between [this] class of drugs and these fractures, and it’s even stronger in those taking those drugs for a long time.” As a result, many doctors recommend their patients take a drug holiday from Fosamax if they have been using them for extended periods.
For many Fosamax users, it is already too late. If you took Fosamax and were injured, you may be able to sue Merck for compensation in a Fosamax lawsuit. The Rottenstein Law Group would like to give you a free confidential consultation if you complete our contact form to the right or click on this link.