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Fosamax Again linked to Rare Thigh Fractures

| May 22, 2012 | Fosamax Osteoporosis Drug

A new study published May 21, 2012 on line by the Archives of Internal Medicine said it found a link between bisphosphonate use (one of which is Fosamax) and atypical thigh fractures.

Fosamax, Used to Treat Osteoporosis, Is Linked To Unusual Bone Fractures in The Femur


Of 477 patients fifty years and older hospitalized at one center for a subtrochanteric or femoral shaft fracture, 39 had atypical fractures and 438 had common fractures. The study examined patients between 1990 and 2010. Among those with atypical fractures, 82.1% had been taking bisphosphonates compared with just 6.4% of those with common fractures, Raphael P.H. Meier, MD, from University Hospitals of Geneva, and colleagues reported online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

They also noted that the atypical-fracture group had a longer treatment period on bisphosphonates – including alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), pamidronate (Aredia), and ibandronate (Boniva) – than the classic-fracture group, at a mean of 5.1 years versus 3.3 years (P=0.02). The study concluded that: “Atypical femoral fractures were associated with bisphosphonate use; longer duration of treatment resulted in augmented risk. The incidence of atypical fractures increased over a 12-year period, but the absolute number of such fractures is very small.”

According to Douglas Bauer, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, in an accompanying commentary to the article the study “adds further data suggesting that the association between bisphosphonate use and atypical fractures is causal”

On October 13, 2010, the FDA warned patients and health care providers about the risk of an atypical thigh bone fracture, a rare but serious type of thigh fracture, in people who take Fosamax and similar drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis. The FDA stated that these fractures, called “atypical subtrochanteric” fractures, often appear in the bone just below the hip joint. These risks are increased in people using Fosamax for five years or more.  These fractures, while rare, have been mostly reported in patients taking Fosamax or other drugs of this type.

Additional sources:

Increasing Occurrence of Atypical Femoral Fractures Associated with Bisphosphonate Use

Atypical Femoral Fracture Risk in Patients Treated with Bisphosphonates

Bone Drugs Linked to Rare Thigh Fractures

Bone Drug Link to Uncommon Breaks Confirmed

The Brandi Law firm represents a number of people who have suffered atypical femur fractures while using Fosamax.  If you or a loved one have taken Fosamax or another bisphosphonate drug and have suffered these fractures, please click here to speak to a Brandi Law Firm Fosamax Attorney for a no-cost consultation or call us at 800-481-1615 or contact us online.

Our San Francisco, California drug medication side effect lawyers have a number of cases pending throughout the country and have been evaluating numerous other cases. We have the experience to prove your case and the compassion to understand the life altering effect of a severe fracture and the resulting disability on your daily life and activities.