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Fosamax is a type of bisphosphonate drug that is used for the purpose of maintaining or improving the volume of minerals and calcium within the bones (bone density). In short, Fosamax is used in order to stave off bone loss, known medically as osteoporosis. The brand name for alendronate, Fosamax gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1995.
Fosamax is manufactured by pharmaceutical juggernaut Merck & Co. and is commonly used as a drug treatment for numerous bone diseases, including osteoporosis and osteitis deformans (Paget's disease).
Fosamax is a widely popular drug and Merck's second best seller. The bisphosphonate drug posted revenues exceeding $3 billion for 2005. Merck & Co. have a patent on Fosamax that extends through 2009, at which point it is expected that a number of generic forms of the drug will be produced and marketed by rival pharmaceutical companies hoping to take a bite out of the Fosamax revenues reaped by Merck & Co.
If you believe you or a loved one was harmed by the side effects of Fosamax or has died as a result of using any medication, contact a personal injury attorney to learn about settlements and lawsuits aimed at gaining compensation for your losses. Contact a wrongful death attorney to learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from death due to negligence.
Fosamax Treatments Osteoporosis
The most common reason that someone would be prescribed Fosamax is because they have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a type of bone disease that causes a reduction in bone density. The combination of a healthy diet and proper exercise plays an important role in maintaining an adequate bone density level; however, that alone is not always enough.
Fosamax can help reverse a reduction in bone density by inhibiting the activity of certain cells that are responsible for causing bone loss. The bisphosphonate drug can also help to increase overall bone mass in most patients being treated for osteoporosis or some other type of bone disease.
According to Merck & Co., the positive effects of Fosamax treatments can be realized as early as three months after beginning use of the bisphosphonate drug. Data collected by Fosamax clinical trial testing suggests that approximately 96 percent of Fosamax users were able to increase and/or maintain bone mass when treated with the bisphosphonate drug.
How is Fosamax Taken?
Fosamax is prescribed for oral use in the form of a tablet or oral solution:
- Fosamax tablet: The Fosamax tablet can be taken once weekly (35 milligram or 70 milligram) or once daily (5 milligram or 10 milligram). The Fosamax tablet must be taken with a 6-8 ounce glass of water first thing in the morning.
- Fosamax oral solution: The 70 milligram Fosamax oral solution is taken once weekly with a 2 ounce glass of water first thing in the morning.
Regardless of whether using Fosamax in the oral solution or tablet form, one must avoid lying down, eating, drinking or taking other medications for at least 30 minutes.
A determination of how long someone should continue taking Fosamax is made by a doctor monitoring the bisphosphonate drug's effect. Bone density will be maintained as long as Fosamax treatments continue. If Fosamax side effects begin to develop, a doctor may decide to halt treatment or alter dosage.
Fosamax Side Effects
The most serious Fosamax defect is the development of a bone disease called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), or "dead jaw."
Fosamax users can potentially develop a serious case of osteonecrosis of the jaw and be forced to suffer through the pain associated with the subsequent death of jawbone tissue. The pain associated with ONJ is said to be similar to that which is suffered by arthritics. Symptoms of ONJ can include localized pain in the jaw and maxillofacial region, a feeling of numbness or altered sensation, the loosening of teeth, soft tissue infections, and/or the exposure of bone within the oral cavity.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of using Fosamax, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss how to reach personal injury settlements with Merck or obtain compensation by filing a Fosamax Lawsuit. Merck & Co. have a responsibility to ensure that Fosamax users are adequately warned about any potential Fosamax side effects that could result from use of the bisphosphonate drug. Failure to do so is negligent and grounds for legal action.