In light of the questions raise by studies regarding the safety and effectiveness of long-term bisphosphonate treatment, Parker Waichman LLP is urging women who have been taking these drugs for 5 years or more to seek the advice of their doctors."
New York, New York (PRWEB) May 22, 2012
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights of people injured by defective drugs, is warning users of Fosamax (alendronate) and other bisphosphonates of a new study linking long-term use of such drugs with an increased risk of atypical femur (thigh) fractures. The study, published in the May issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that an association between bisphosphonate treatment and atypical thigh fractures is highly likely, and that duration of treatment correlates with a higher risk for such fractures. [amanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/archinternmed.2012.1827]
Bisphosphonates are approved to prevent bone fractures from osteoporosis and other bone weakening diseases. In addition to Fosamax, other bisphosphonates include Actonel (risedronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Atelvia (risedronate delayed release), Didronel (etidronate), Skelid (tiludronate), and Reclast (zoledronic acid injection). In October 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asked the manufacturers of bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis to add warnings to their labels describing the risk of atypical thigh fractures after a study linked long-term use of such drugs to this side effect. Atypical thigh fractures are breaks that occur spontaneously, in the course of normal activities, such as walking down stairs. [fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm229171.htm]
The Archives of Internal Medicine study was conducted by doctors at the University Hospitals of Geneva in Switzerland who examined the records of 477 patients over the age of 50 who had suffered certain kinds of broken legs between 1999 and 2010. Of those patients, 39 experienced atypical femur fractures. The study found that 82%, or 32 of those patients, had been treated with bisphosphonates. When categorized by duration of treatment, compared with no treatment, the odds ratio for an atypical fracture vs. a classic fracture were 35.1 for less than two years of treatment, 46.9 for two to five years of treatment, 117.1 for five to nine years and 175.7 for more than nine years, the report said.
The new study follows the recent release of an FDA analysis which found that taking bisphosphonates for longer than five years offers few additional benefits to patients. The authors of the FDA study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 9, pointed out that the long-term safety and effectiveness of bisphosphonates has come under scrutiny because of the occurrence of rare but serious side effects such as atypical fractures, Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ), and esophageal cancer. [nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1202619]
In light of the questions raise by both of these studies regarding the safety and effectiveness of long-term bisphosphonate treatment, Parker Waichman LLP is urging women who have been taking these drugs for five years or more to seek the advice of their physician.
"Taken together, the FDA analysis and the Archives of Internal Medicine study provide compelling evidence that the risks posed by long-term use of Fosamax and other bisphosphonates may significantly outweigh potential benefits," says Matthew McCauley, lead attorney in the bisphosphonate litigation group at Parker Waichman LLP. "Women who have been taking the drugs for five or more years should ask their doctors to reassess their treatment."
For more information regarding bisphosphonate side effects, please view this video blog produced by Parker Waichman LLP.
Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of bisphosphonate side effects. If you or a loved experienced an atypical femur fracture, ONJ, or any other side effect that could be associated with the use of Fosamax or another bisphosphonate, please contact their office by visiting the firm’s bisphosphonate 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 bisphosphonates side effect lawsuits and Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: http://www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney