Oral bisphosphonates, among them Fosamax, have been widely prescribed over the years to prevent or delay the negative consequences of bone problems such as osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, which causes the bones to become fragile and more susceptible to fractures, medical experts say. The blog on Fosamax drug injury cases contains important information about the side-effects associated with the drug. However, first time users of Fosamax are at increased risk of getting scleritis and anterior uveitis, warned medical experts. Scleritis is the inflammation of the sclera, the white part of the eye, which when left untreated, may cause glaucoma, cataracts, retinal damage or detachment, optic nerve damage and shrinkage of the eyes. Uveitis is the inflammation inside of the eye, and is the 5th or 6th cause of blindness in the US.

The inflammatory eye conditions are potentially reversible if identified early, however the labels on osteoporosis drugs do not mention eye inflammation. Patients and their doctors need to be familiar with the symptoms so they can seek immediate and early intervention from an ophthalmologist.





Some bisphosphonate formulations may cause kidney damage that leads to renal failure, experts say, citing research that some of these popular osteoporosis medications may pose a risk. This proves to be alarming especially when considering the possible potential for lawsuits that could arise similar to the class action proceedings against Fosamax maker Merck.  

Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax have a very long effective half-life and can stay within a body for a long time. Since bisphosphonates are primarily excreted through the kidneys, this is particularly worrisome because as the drug is even more slowly removed from the body it could cause more problems for the patient besides renal failure.

While medical sources agree that the chance of acute renal failure is very rare while on bisphosphonates, experts’ advice that patients should be monitored for their creatinine levels as added precautions especially where intravenous bisphosphonate formulations are concerned.

URL References:

  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22710581
  • cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/4/1/221.full
As the legal battle continues between plaintiffs and defendants over the severe side effects related to Merck’s Fosamax medication, analysts and media sources document the ongoing updates of the cases involved as the controversy develops, industry experts say. Complaints over Fosamax’ complications against the pharmaceutical giant have accumulated over the past decade and in the last few years since 2009 lawsuits have continued to be brought to court by plaintiffs seeking compensation for damages sustained from taking the osteoporosis drug. 

In early 2000 the FDA began receiving reports of complications relating to Fosamax therapy which were confirmed in later research findings that documented these side effects experienced by patients. The main complaints in these cases are osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures, which have lead to numerous lawsuits and recently esophageal cancer is speculated as another possible complication that might also lead to more court cases against Merck. 

In six bellwether cases involving Merck and their popular osteoporosis medication Fosamax, plaintiffs have alleged that the pharmaceutical company is responsible for causing osteonecrosis of the jaw from taking the bone strengthening drug.  All in all there are reportedly 2,345 pending cases filed by over 2.800 plaintiff groups against the drug company.  Judicial authorities have been prompted by the overwhelming number of cases against Merck to combine and group a majority of cases in multi-district litigation proceedings to better and more efficiently hear cases altogether rather than individually. 

Regarding these complaints, Merck’s official stance is that there is no proof defining a clear link with Fosamax to these rare and serious complications despite the FDA already ordering the drug manufacturer to update Fosamax’ warning labels including two of the most controversial conditions osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures. In conjunction with their official stance, Merck has motioned to have as much as 24 pending cases dismissed as having no merit, which was summarily rejected by the presiding judge. 

As of now, more cases continue to be brought forward with the most recent news report on a New Jersey judge’s decision that opted to try a case involving atypical femur fracture instead of another case of osteonecrosis of the jaw. Experts foresee more lawsuits over Fosamax complications continuing to come forward with no telling when Merck will finally be able to address patients concerns for good.

URL References:
  • bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aNS2rN6DCYOo
  • 14news.com/story/19131939/south-carolina-woman-alleges-mercks-fosamax-is-responsible-for-femur-fracture-injury-files-lawsuit-alleging-the-bone-loss-drug-caused-the-atypical
  • merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2012_0227.html
  • merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2011_0907.html