Large US Study links Osteoporosis Drug Fosamax to Jaw Bone Death
A new U.S. study released in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) indicates that even short term use of oral bisphosphonates including Fosamax may lead to osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), commonly referred to as jaw bone death. Previous studies suggested said that patients taking oral bisphosphonates such as Fosamax were at risk for developing devastating jaw necrosis, but this large institutional study performed at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry shows the condition may be more common than initially suggested. They found that out of the 208 patients with a history of Fosamax use, nine patients were being treated for osteonecrosis of the jaw (about 4% of the study participants, or 1 in 23 patients). Previously, the drug manufacturer released information that bisphosphonate ONJ is most prevalent with IV use of the drugs.