Merck is being sued for Fosamax:

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Fort Myers, Fosamax is a defective product because it can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw, or a rotting of the jaw bone. The suit, which seeks class-action status, alleges Merck concealed and continues to hide Fosamax’s potentially dangerous side effects from patients and doctors.

The cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw are associated with cancer patients requiring intravenous bisphosphonates. Fosamax is generally quite safe – osteonecrosis of the jaw with this medication is a rare, rare occurrence. (via PharmaGossip)

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  • SarahW

    I heard there was mnore to it than that. Apparently this jaw necrosis occurs in women who get tooth extractions while on fosamax. Think of the patient demographic…bad news.

  • Anonymous

    When I was at the dentist’s yesterday for my 6 month checkup, he asked me specifically if I took Fosamax. He also mentioned about the problem with jawbones and tooth extractions. He told me that he and other dentists are going to start asking their patients about this drug. My impression was that he was genuinely concerned about this issue.

  • diora

    I wonder if the estimates of how often it happens just look at the number of women taking the drug or are they looking only at women who actually have dental surgeries while on Fosomax.

    If only really old women with no teeth take it, there’ll be no cases of jaw necrosis. But recently, doctors started to prescribe it to much younger women with osteopenia. These women have lots of teeth and they stay on Fosomax for decades. I wonder if there’ll be more cases like this.

    Still as far as the lawsuit goes, it is a bit of a stretch to say that Merck could’ve predicted the effect of oral drugs on healthy women based on the effect of a similar IV drug on cancer patients. So many things seem different. Of course, I don’t know much…

  • Steve R.

    Kevin:

    I found an article on Lawsuit Search about Fosamax and how much Merck knew. After reading it, I think they knew a lot.
    http://www.lawsuitsearch.com/news/drugs/fosamax_linked_to_jaw_disorder_sy.aspx

    Best,
    Steve