Fosamax & Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
Fosamax (Generic: Alendronate), manufactured by Merck, gained FDA approval in 1995. Fosamax is prescribed to treat osteoporosis and Paget's disease. Fosamax is a type of drug known as bisphosphonates. Individuals using Fosamax or other bisphosphonates should attempt to steer clear of tooth extractions and other major dental work while on the drugs.
A connection between Fosamax and other bisphosphonates and a serious bone disease called Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) was found. Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) is also known as Dead Jaw. This finding was published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and it prompted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the manufacturer of Fosamax to issue a warning to health care professionals on September 24, 2004.
Bisphosphonates are commonly used in tablet form such as Fosamax (generic: Alendronate Sodium) to prevent and treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Stronger forms of bisphosphonates are commonly used in the management of advanced cancers that have metastasized to the bone, where the disease often causes bone pain and possibly even fractures. Several cancers can involve or metastasize to the bone, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, and others. When bisphosphonates are given in cancer chemotherapy, the drugs are given intravenously and usually for longer periods of time.
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) is a condition in which the bone tissue in the jaw fails to heal after minor trauma such as a tooth extraction, causing the bone to be exposed. The exposure can eventually lead to infection and fracture and may require long-term antibiotic therapy or surgery to remove the dying bone tissue. Experts say that prevention and early treatment of patients using bisphosphonates such as Fosamax is extremely important in preserving the jawbone.
If you or a loved one took Fosamax and suffered side effects, please fill out the form or contact us directly at 800-763-9685.
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