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The Side Effects of Bisphosphonates

With over 37 million prescriptions written by the year 2008, bisphosphonates are one of the most widely given drugs. But this thing is slowly changing as the drug are presently facing challenges because of its reported adverse effects. A few of these reported adverse effects are femur fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). Now, there are 36 lawsuits under the New Jersey Superior Court concerning a bisphosphonate drug called Fosamax.

Alendronate sodium is the generic form of this so called Fosamax drug. It is one of the most popular bisphosphonates which interfere in the bone cycle formation. The mechanism of action of the drug slows down bone loss while increasing bone mass helping in the prevention of bone fracture.

Bisphosphonates like Fosamax are prescribed for both men and women for their osteoporosis usually caused by menopause or by taking steroids. The drug is also given to patients with Paget’s disease of the bone, a disease where bones are brittle and often malformed. People with osteopenia where the patients suffer from low bone mineral density are also advised to take this kind of drug.

Oftentimes, bisphosphonate therapy has some issues with drug to drug interaction. Femur fracture problems are now being considered among other drugs.

Apart from the intended effects, bisphosphonates also brings a number of unintended or side effects to the body, both beneficial and unfavorable. Nonetheless, taking the drug to achieve its side effects, off-label use of the drug, is not advisable.

The Use of Bisphosphonates and Its Possible Outcome

You need to consult your doctor if any of these less serious side effects persist or become bothersome during your bisphosphonate therapy:

· Constipation or diarrhea
· Bloating or feeling full, mild heartburn
· Dizziness, headache, eye pain
· Mild back, muscle, or joint pain
· Mild nausea, vomiting or stomach pain

The use of Fosamax should be stopped if the following happens and medical attention should happen as soon as possible.

· Severe allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing)
· Chest pain
· Difficulty (dysphagia) or painful (odynophagia) swallowing
· Pain or burning sensation under the ribs or in the back
· Severe heart burn, burning epigastric (upper stomach) pain, or coughing of blood
· New or worsening heartburn
· Fever, body aches, flu-like symptoms
· Severe musculoskeletal pain
· New or unusual pain in your thigh or hip
· Jaw pain, numbness or swelling.

The use of bisphosphonates should only happen when it is advised by a doctor especially with people complaining about Fosamax negative side effects.

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