This infographic is about Fosamax, a drug used to treat osteoporosis. It turns out that Fosamax may cause brittle bones and make bones more susceptible to fracture.
Prescription of Fosamax
Fosamax is prescribed for post-menopausal women who have osteoporosis. It’s supposed to help reduce the chance of broken hips and spinal fracture. For men with osteoporosis, it is prescribed to increase bone mass. For both men and women, it is prescribed for sufferers of osteoporosis to get them off of corticosteroids, and it is used to treat Paget’s disease.
Fosamax comes in a solution or a tablet.
Whoa. The common side effects are stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, joint pain, muscle pain, and bone pain. The bigger, less common side effects are irritation, inflammation or ulcers in the esophagus, bone problems in the jaw bone (including bone death), low blood calcium, and atypical thigh bone fractures. Scary stuff.
Studies show that the drug that was meant to protect bones can hurt the bones instead. Fosamax users are three times as likely to break bones after taking the drug for five years. Fosamax hardens the bone, but makes it more brittle.
Fosamax was approved by the FDA in 1995. By 2003, reports started coming in regarding the jaw trouble. That same year, Fosamax was the 19th most-prescribed drug in the US. In 2005 Fosamax brought in $3 billion dollars for Merck. In 2006, Merck was hit with a class action lawsuit regarding the jaw disease (ONJ). By 2007, over 20 million Fosamax prescriptions had been written.
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Disturbing but valuable information
Source: side effects of fosamax & femur fractures