OSTEOPOROSIS DRUGS LINKED TO SEVERE SIDE EFFECTS
Fosamax (alendronate sodium) is a bisphosphonate prescribed to treat and prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis, treat glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, and treat Paget’s disease of bone. Fosamax was approved for market use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995. Fosamax increases bone mineral density and significantly reduces the risk of spine, hip, and wrist fractures in women with osteoporosis.
There are several common side effects associated with Fosamax, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Upset stomach
- Bone, joint, or muscle pain
- Worsening of asthma
Unfortunately, Fosamax has been linked to several more severe side effects as well.
- Irritation, inflammation, or ulcers of the esophagus
- Hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels)
- Severe jaw bone problems, including osteonecrosis
- Unusual thigh bone fractures
FDA CONTINUING INVESTIGATION INTO FOSAMAX LINK TO CANCER
In 2011, the FDA announced that it will continue to review data from studies regarding the use of bisphosphonate drugs and their link to an increased risk of esophageal cancer. At this time, there have been conflicting findings regarding the causality. One study followed patients that used the osteoporosis drugs for longer than three years, which was found to double the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
The FDA has warned of other esophageal events and damage reported with oral bisphosphonates like Fosamax, including esophagitis.
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