Do you have an irregular sore with exposed bone in your jaw? Is your jaw infected? Does your jaw hurt? Are you an adult with loose teeth? If you experienced any of these medical conditions after taking Fosamax, you should know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued written warnings to Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax. But for thousands of people, those warnings came too late. Read the information below to learn about how you can bring your own Fosamax lawsuit if you have suffered injuries.
What Is Fosamax?
Fosamax is a prescription medication produced and marketed by Merck & Co., Inc. for the treatment of bone loss typically associated with osteoporosis and Paget’s disease. First marketed in 1994, Fosamax is the brand name for “Alendronate Sodium;” one of several drugs classified as bisphosphonates. In a tragic twist of irony, however, the drug now appears to be attacking the very patients drawn to it by the promise of relief. A growing body of evidence suggests that bisphosphonate compounds like Fosamax restrict blood flow to the bone and cause Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ); a progressively debilitating condition that results in actual bone death.
FDA Warnings: Fosamax Can Cause "Dead Jaw"
In 1997, the FDA issued a written warning to Merck about false and misleading statements about Fosamax in some of its advertising and marketing materials, and demanded removal of all misleading statements. The FDA also urged Merck to make certain labeling changes and, in fact, Merck did make some labeling changes but not until more than six months after the FDA communication. Still, there remains some question as to whether the changes were adequate. Today, all products containing Fosamax include a warning that ONJ ("dead jaw") has been reported in patients taking bisphosphonates.
What Is Dead Jaw Syndrome?
Also known as "Dead Jaw Syndrome," ONJ is associated with minor jaw trauma such as tooth extractions that do not heal properly, typically leading to exposure of the bone. Serious complications often follow this exposure including extreme pain, virulent infections, tooth loss, and disfigurement. Experts urge patients using Fosamax and other bisphosphonates to avoid tooth extractions and other major dental work, if possible, until the medications have been discontinued. There is no known cure for ONJ.
What’s more, there is evidence that discontinuing the use of Fosamax may not significantly decrease the risk of ONJ. Its damage is irreversible and usually requires long-term antibiotic therapy. Rarely, surgical removal of dead and dying bone tissue has been employed, but this may intensify rather than resolve the condition. If you or someone you know has used Fosamax, it is recommended to see a doctor as soon as possible. You should consider deferring any serious dental work until you have had an opportunity to consult with your doctor about the possible ONJ risks involved.
Do I Have a Case Against the Manufacturer of Fosamax?
If you think you might have ONJ or if your doctor diagnosed you with ONJ after you took Fosamax, you are not alone. Thousands of people have filed state and federal lawsuits against Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax. These lawsuits are based on a strict liability claim that Merck knew or should have known that Fosamax caused ONJ and that Merck failed to warn doctors of the risk. Do not wait too long to file your own claim. Like all legal claims, your claim against Merck is subject to time limits and you may lose your right to monetary damages if you delay in filing. It's tough to tell how long it will take, but you may recover damages from a pharmaceutical product liability claim for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages from time away from work
Were You Hurt by Fosamax? Get a Free Case Review from an Experienced Attorney
Do not suffer in silence. Antibiotic therapy, corrective surgery, and other medical treatments can be costly. Worse, often the damage caused by Fosamax is irreversible. Fortunately, U.S. law gives you the right to bring a claim for pain and suffering damages. If you took Fosamax and now your life has changed forever, and for the worse, get a free case review from an attorney with experience bringing claims against Merck.
More Fosamax Resources
- What is Fosamax®?
- Are there risks involved in taking Fosamax®?
- How is Fosamax® associated with ONJ?
- What are the risk factors for ONJ?
- How can I tell if I have ONJ?
- What is the proper treatment for ONJ?
- How can ONJ be prevented?
- I had dental work done after taking Fosamax® and I think I may have ONJ. What should I do?
- I understand why I need to see a doctor immediately, but why do I need a lawyer right away?
- What financial compensation can I recover in a pharmaceutical product liability claim?
The Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") Drug Website
The FDA's special website dedicated to drugs and medications resources