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Strange Fracture Linked to Osteoporosis Drug

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Two weeks after I had suffered a femur fracture that had started as a hairline stress fracture undetected in an earlier x-ray, a friend alerted me to your column citing the 2/18/09 JAMA article.

After reading it and showing it to my doctors, we all are pretty much agreed that the fracture was caused by long-term use of Fosamax (12 years!) Even after coming out of the OR, my surgeon said that this was the strangest fracture he had ever seen, that the femur looked normal but that it had broken in a location and at an angle that was extremely strange.

To make a long story short, I later googled "femur fracture Fosamax" and got six law firms. It turns out that there are a number of mass tort suits against Merck for this very injury because there is no warning on the label of such a possible side effect. I think it is very important to get more information to the many women who have been given these anti-osteoporosis drugs by physicians who have no idea of the side effects. I have now heard of people with bilateral femur fractures, and my surgeon is seriously considering doing a hip replacement at the first sign of another hairline fracture.
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My 80 year old mother's NC family physician (new to her) removed "Fosamax" (and some other 'risky' meds) from her 'arsenal' of pills. He explained that Fosamax moves calcium from other bones to hip area causing vulnerable weakness to other bones.

My doctor switched me from Fosamax to generic Alendronate Sodium. Does this medication also cause a risk to hairline fractures?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THERE IS NO REASON TO EXPECT THE GENERIC TO BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY FROM THE BRAND NAME.

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