Merck, maker of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax, may have seriously under reported the risks of jawbone death related to the drug, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Jawbone death is associated with the use of a bisphosphonate class of drugs that includes Fosamax. Bisphonsphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ) is always serious. It destroys the bone in the jaw and it's extremely difficult to treat.
Another Fosamax adverse side effect that Merck chose to ignore was covered in our October 1st 2004 Friday Pearl. It focused on an ocular adverse drug study funded by Research to Prevent Blindness and published in Ophthalmology. This study suggested Fosamax stimulates the production of a distince subgroup of T cells that release cytokines associated with inflammatory uveitis and /or scleritis, which can lead to major loss of vision.
Are menopausal / postmenopausal women (by far the largest users of Fosamax and the target of the Fosamax TV ads), once again innocent victims of Big Pharma?