New York, New York (PRWEB) April 03, 2012
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm representing people injured by defective drugs, is warning first-time users of oral bisphosphonates, including Fosamax (alendronate), that they may face an increased risk of developing serious eye disorders, uveitis and scleritis. According to Parker Waichman LLP, uveitis is swelling and irritation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, sensitivity to light, redness, and floating dark spots in vision. Scleritis is an inflammation of the sclera (the white outer wall of the eye) that may present with pain, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and red patches in the white of the eye. In additional to Fosamax, other oral bisphosphonates include Actonel (risedronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Atelvia (risedronate delayed release), Didronel (etidronate), and Skelid (tiludronate), according to Parker Waichman LLP.
According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, oral bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed class of drugs used to prevent osteoporosis. They have been associated with a number of adverse events such as unusual fractures, irregular heartbeat, and esophageal and colon cancer, the article points out. According to the authors, researchers from the Child and Family Research Institute and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, some case reports have shown an association between oral bisphosphonates and anterior uveitis and scleritis, inflammatory eye diseases that can seriously affect vision. However, literature regarding this risk is limited.
To investigate the risk associated with uveitis or scleritis and oral bisphosphonate use, the research team examined data on 934,147 people in British Columbia who had visited an ophthalmologist between 2000 and 2007. Of the total, 10,827 were first-time users of bisphosphonates and 923,320 were nonusers. The incidence rate for uveitis in first-time users of oral bisphosphonates was 29/10 000 person-years and 63/10 000 person-years for scleritis compared with 20/10 000 person-years for uveitis and 63/10 000 for scleritis in nonusers.
The study authors noted that the risk of serious eye disorders is not highlighted on most package inserts included with oral bisphosphonates. They called on clinicians to inform their patients who are prescribed oral bisphosphonates about the signs and symptoms of scleritis and uveitis, so that they may seek prompt treatment and avoid serious complications.
About Oral Bisphosphonates
Oral bisphosphonates, including Fosamax, are approved to treat bone disorders, including osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and Paget's disease. In October 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asked the manufacturers of bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis, including Fosamax, to add information to the "Warnings and Precautions" section of the drugs’ labels describing the risk of atypical thigh fractures after a study linked long-term use of such drugs to this side effect. In 2005, warnings regarding Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ or Dead Jaw Syndrome), a rare bone disease that can cause a victim’s jaw bone to deteriorate and die, were added to the labels of oral bisphosphonates at the request of the FDA. [fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm229171.htm; merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/fosamax_statement.html]
Lawsuits involving alleged bisphosphonate Fosamax side effects have been designated a mass tort in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, (In re: Fosamax Litigation (No. 282 NJ. Super. Ct.) before the Honorable Judge Carol Higbee. The first jury trial in that litigation, which alleges Fosamax caused plaintiffs to suffer ONJ began on February 27, 2012. [jpml.uscourts.gov/MDL-2243-Tag-Along_Transfer.pdf] According to Parker Waichman LLP, trials of lawsuits alleging Fosamax caused users to sustain atypical femur fractures are expected to commence in the fall.
Additional lawsuits involving bisphosphonates have also been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey before the Honorable Garrett E. Brown, Jr. (“MDL No. 2243). Originally, that litigation involved on the bisphosphonate, Fosamax. But in an order dated February 12, 2012, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation expanded the MDL to include claims filed by people who had used either Fosamax, or Fosamax and Boniva. Both bisphosphonates Boniva and Fosamax are approved to treat bone disorders, including osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and Paget's disease.
Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of Fosamax side effects. If you or a loved experienced an atypical femur fracture or developed ONJ, and you believe Fosamax or another bisphosphonate is to blame, please contact their office by visiting the firm’s Fosamax side effects page at http://www.yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).
For more information regarding Fosamax side effects lawsuits and Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: http://www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Parker Waichman LLP
Herbert Waichman, Partner