Fosamax Jaw Side Effects Confirmed

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted January 2, 2009


The Fosamax lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been representing clients since 2006 who developed osteonecrosis of the jaw after taking the oral osteoporosis drug. Although Merck has denied that their drug causes osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), new research confirms that Fosamax jaw side effects can occur even with short-term use of the drug.

Fosamax (alendronate sodium), which is manufactured by Merck & Co., is a widely prescribed oral osteoporosis drug which has been taken by millions of Americans and generates billions in revenue annually.

Although it has been known for years that the use of intravenous bisphosphonates are associated with the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw, Merck has denied that their oral bisphosphonate is directly responsible for any cases.

Hundreds of Fosamax users have reported developing the painful, debilitating and disfiguring jaw side effects, yet Merck has only provided vague and confusing information on the warning label about the risk of ONJ.

The new research, which is published in the January 1, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association is one of the first studies to investigate the potential Fosamax jaw problems. Dental researchers from the University of Southern California found that 1 in 25 patients followed in the study developed osteonecrosis of the jaw.

While some experts have previously indicated that the Fosamax ONJ side effects are only present after long-term use of the medication for more than three years, the researchers found that even with short term use Fosamax may leave the jaw vulnerable to necrosis or decay.

Fosamax has a very long half-life of 10 years, which led to the researchers identifying side effects in the jaw even with short-term use for as little as one year.

Out of 208 patients followed in the study, 9 were found to develop Fosamax ostenoecrosis of the jaw. All of these individuals had a dental procedure, such as a tooth extraction, which is known to aggravate underlying jaw decay caused by ONJ.


Litigation has been pending against Merck involving Fosamax jaw side effects for nearly three years and the first trials are expected to begin later this year. The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are continuing to investigate potential new cases for individuals who have taken Fosamax and developed ONJ or symptoms of jaw necrosis, such as:

  • Jaw Pain, Gum Infection or Swelling
  • Loose Teeth or Tooth Pain
  • Exposed Portions of Jaw Bone inside the Mouth

If you, a friend or family member have experienced Fosamax jaw problems, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

No Comments • Add Your Comments

Add Your Comments

  • Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

    Provide contact information below and additional private comments if you want an attorney to contact you to review a potential case.

    The information below will not be published to this page.

  • NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.