Fosamax Information and Warning

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Fosamax, Merck’s osteoporosis and Paget’s disease drug, has been implicated as a cause of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) or Dead Jaw disease. ONJ is caused by the temporary or permanent loss of blood to bone tissue, which causes the tissue in the jawbone to die and the bone to decay. ONJ can also occur when the bone is prevented from replacing itself by the use of drugs like Fosamax. It has been estimated that more than 2,400 Fosamax patients have reported serious jaw problems, including ONJ, since 2001.

Fosamax is one of a group of drugs called bisphosphonates, and the jaw absorbs 10 times as much of a bisphosphonate as other bones in the body. Bisphosphonates prevent normal bone renewal, and the jaw and maxilla need renewal because they receive slight daily injuries from normal use. The continual injury and lack of renewal can lead to bone death.

The risk of bisphosphonate-related ONJ has been linked to the size of the dose, according to Maico Meol, oral surgeon at the Washington Center Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Almost 95% of bisphosphonate-related ONJ cases are related to high doses taken intravenously as chemotherapy. Bisphosphonates have a shelf life of about 12 years and stay in the body. Because they stay in the jawbone in large amounts, experts fear that many bisphosphonate-related ONJ cases will emerge in the future. ONJ is often brought on by invasive dental work, such as extractions, that injure the jawbone, but it sometimes occurs spontaneously.

A report was published by Dr. Salvatore Ruggiero, a surgeon at the Long Island Jewish Hospital in 2004. He found bisphosphonate-related ONJ cases in both chemotherapy patients and those being treated from osteoporosis. An article by the head of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Miami, Robert E. Marx, was published an article in the November, 2005 Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery reporting bisphosphonate-related ONJ cases in patients receiving chemotherapy.

Fosamax information indicates that ONJ is a potential Fosamax side effect, particularly for patients who take it for a long period of time.

Check out the following articles for more information about Fosamax, filing a Fosamax lawsuit and finding a Fosamax attorney.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption