Coping with Jaw Osteonecrosis: Management Techniques

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fosamax lawsuitsThere are a few management techniques that a person diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw can do to cope with this degenerative condition, medical experts say. These treatment options are recommended to patients for managing the symptoms for this condition even though, at the moment, there is no clear consensus for therapy, according to the American Academy of Oral Medicine. See here for a more detailed description of osteonecrosis of the jaw.

Osteonecrosis of the jaw is a rare and debilitating condition which, in recent research, has been attributed to bisphosphonate therapy. Bisphosphonates have been prescribed for treating various disorders affecting bone fragility and even cases involving complications from cancer treatment. In particular, intravenous therapy is implicated by experts as having a strong association with the increased occurrence of this disease.

Various methods of preventing osteonecrosis of the jaw include antimicrobial rinses, systemic antibiotics, and systemic and/or topical antifungals. Phsyician’s might also recommend that any bisphosphonate therapy be discontinued such as Fosamax or receiving intravenous bisphosphonate formulations for cancer treatment like Zolendronate or Pamidronate. If there is a need to perform any dental therapy, it might be necessary to either avoid it or only opt for non-invasive dental procedures such as a root canal instead of an extraction. This may be necessary because any injury or wounds sustained by a patient’s jaws or gums would heal slowly and potentially cause more harm than good.

If these techniques don’t treat the condition, then it may be necessary in most cases to prescribe surgery for the patient, particularly for debriding and removing necrotic debris and tissue to prevent further infection and damage. Experts agree that treating osteonecrosis of the jaw can take a very long time which means that any treatment is bound to be handled on a case to case basis tailored to suit the needs of the specific person.

Currently there is no data for definitively describing the benefits of discontinuing bisphosphonate therapy. Since recent findings by the FDA are unconvinced of the benefits of this treatment, federal regulators recommended that further studies be conducted to determine the liability and benefits of taking bisphosphonates like Fosamax.

If you or someone close to you has suffered any unforeseen injuries such as atypical bone fractures or osteonecrosis of the jaw from taking bisphosphonates like Fosamax, you are entitled to seek legal counsel to find out more about your options for compensation. Contact the Rottenstein Law Group now and ask them about filing a Fosamax class action lawsuit.

URL references:

  • emedicine.medscape.com/article/1447355-treatment
  • asheducationbook.hematologylibrary.org/content/2006/1/356.full
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A Brief Look at the History of Merck’s Alendronate Lawsuits

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In the ongoing legal controversy over Merck’s osteoporosis drug Fosamax and the complications experienced by patients who have taken the medication, mainstream media continue to document the developing events concerning the lawsuits over this popular osteoporosis drug, industry analysts noted. In the past decade complaints of cases against the pharmaceutical manufacturer over Fosamax’ side effects have accumulated and in the last few years from 2009, court hearings have been tried and continue to come forward by plaintiffs seeking recompense over damages from receiving Fosamax prescriptions.

The FDA in early 2000 began receiving complaints of complications relating to Fosamax treatment which were supported by research findings that have studied reports from people on prescription with it. The main complaints in these cases are osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures, which have lead to numerous lawsuits and recently esophageal cancer is speculated as another possible complication that might also lead to more court cases against Merck.

In six bellwether cases involving Merck and their popular osteoporosis medication Fosamax, plaintiffs have alleged that the pharmaceutical company is responsible for causing osteonecrosis of the jaw from taking the bone strengthening drug. There are currently over 2,345 pending cases filed by an estimated 2,800 groups against Merck. Judicial authorities have been prompted by the overwhelming number of cases against Merck to combine and group a majority of cases in multi-district litigation proceedings to better and more efficiently hear cases altogether rather than individually.

Merck’s official position regarding these complaints is that there is no definitive evidence linking Fosamax as the cause of the complications listed in the lawsuits despite the FDA ordering the drug company to upgrade their warning labels for osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical bone fractures to warn consumers. In conjunction with their official stance, Merck has motioned to have as much as 24 pending cases dismissed as having no merit, which was summarily rejected by the presiding judge.

As of now, more cases continue to be brought forward with the most recent news report on a New Jersey judge’s decision that opted to try a case involving atypical femur fracture instead of another case of osteonecrosis of the jaw. According to experts more cases will possibly come forward against Merck over more complications related to taking Fosamax with no foreseeable end in the near future for either plaintiffs or the drug manufacturer.

URL References:

  • bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aNS2rN6DCYOo
  • 14news.com/story/19131939/south-carolina-woman-alleges-mercks-fosamax-is-responsible-for-femur-fracture-injury-files-lawsuit-alleging-the-bone-loss-drug-caused-the-atypical
  • merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2012_0227.html
  • merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2011_0907.html