Fosamax Warnings

Fosamax Warnings Fall On Deaf Ears

Did Fosamax warnings fall on deaf ears, if they were spoken at all? The average time doctor spends with their patient is now about 8 minutes -- was there time to recite all the dangers in that brief time?

There is a whole laundry list of side-effects connected with the prolonged use of alendronate sodium, also known as Fosamax. These warnings are like the proverbial brain-teaser, "If a tree falls in the forest, did it make any sound if no one was there to hear it?"

Along the same line, did any patients taking Fosamax for years stop to read the product information sheet packed neatly in the box?

Did their personal physician inform them of the many possible dangers of Fosamax?

Did anyone taking the drug see or hear any Fosamax warnings?

Who knows?

If they had been clearly informed of the many dangers of Fosamax, why are they still taking it?

ABC News recently reported that the Food and Drug Administration asked Merck (the maker of Fosamax) to “add information about the report of femur fractures” to the medications’ package insert back in 2008!

More than a year later, they finally did.

Drugs of this type -- bisphosphates -- have also been associated with 1) serious eye inflammation, 2) liver damage; 3) atrial fibrillation; 4) increased risk of ulcers, 5) kidney damage; 6) skin reactions, 7) low blood levels of calcium; 8) kidney failure, and 9) esophageal cancer.

The problem I see here is that:

1) The patient trusts their doctor, who has studied how the body works for many years. The doctor has also sworn the Hippocratic Oath to "first, do no harm" to the patient and look out for his or her health.

2) The pharmaceutical companies produce most of the products the doctor has approval to use for the various medical conditions the patient is suffering.

The pharmaceutical company is motivated by profit, not altruism. They have not sworn the Hippocratic Oath. The longer they can keep a drug on the market -- even though it is objectively harming many patients -- the more money they can make, even after paying fines and legal damages.

3) Corporations have no heart, nor feelings. They are managed, it seems, by a calculation of whether the cost for legal damages will exceed the profits that can be earned. Will the damage to the reputation of the corporation be impossible to sweep under the rug by Public Relations professionals?

These considerations tend to lead the pharmaceutical companies take risks with patients' health and their lives that doctors wouldn't take knowingly.

Everyone has someone else to blame -- Not a good situation when you are placing your trust and your health in someone's hands.

A Little Background To Explain How I Learned about the Danger of Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women

In the late 1970s, my mother, a widow, was in declining health. I had been trying to persuade her to eat a more natural, vegetable-rich diet for a number of years.Perhaps it was due to her slow descent into Alzheimer's Disease or dementia and depression, she wouldn't take my advice.

Due to her poor nutritional state, she broke her hip.

I learned from conversations with her doctors and my neighbors, who were medical students, that hip fractures are typically not caused by falls, but rather, the hip breaks and then the person falls. The breaking of the hip is often a major step in the beginning of the catastrophic health decline of the patient, leading to weeks of immobilization, hospital and nursing home food, lack of sunshine.

Death usually follows hip breaks for elderly patients, I was told.

Fosamax was created to prevent major and minor bone breaks, especially in senior citizens. Bone breaks caused by osteoporosis are an important life event, but they are very much preventable by healthy nutrition, regular weight-bearing exercise, exposure to sunlight and other natural sources of Vitamins D-3 and K-2.

Fosamax does nothing to contribute to healthy bone formation. In fact, it takes the short-cut of preventing the natural and necessary process of getting rid of old bone, so the body can replace it with new healthy bone cells. This is a mistake, but it sounds good to patients when their doctor or a TV commercial tells them, "Fosamax prevents bone loss."

Unfortunately, as I found out, it is difficult to steer our loved ones in the direction of natural health after they have developed a lifetime of unwise eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Often, other medications may contribute to the depletion of bone minerlization. I can't speculate about what effect the many prescriptions my mother was taking which may have contributed to this -- but I do know that Fosamax was not one of them (because it wasn't put on the market until 1995).

My point in all this discussion of Fosamax dangers and the importance of more effective natural bone health measures, is that the natural methods of preserving our health are always superior.

The problem of osteoporosis is created by giving in to the many alluring commercial products that advertisers tell us we should eat -- Coca Cola and other soft drinks with their well-documented bone-weakening ingredients; our general diet, which is deficient of trace minerals and vitamins necessary for bone health; our avoidance of healthy exposure to the sun by using sunscreen; and our preference for a sedentary lifestyle.

When we come to the end of our lives and the bill for all these debilitating practices comes due, we turn to the doctor to sell us one more imperfect remedy for the medical problems we have brought on ourselves. At this point, when we realize we are at risk for major bone breaks and the subsequent confinement in a nursing home, we are no longer receptive to or concerned by Fosamax warnings.

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Comments 2 comments

mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Great Hub, and I feel an important one for people to pay attention to. I'm 66 and was told by my doctor many years ago that I had osteopenia, which is some thinning of the bones, but not osteoporosis. He put me on foximax, and within a week, I started to have severe pain in my back and hips. I'm a very active person, and love to walk and exercise. The pain was getting worse, and getting in the way of my exercise. I couldn't image what was causing it. When I researched it on the internet, I saw that Fosimax causes such pain in some people as a side effect. I stopped taking it, and the pain went away. I was amazed at the other bad side effects this drug has, and figured that more bad news would eventually come out about it. My doctor continued to tell me to use it, but I refused. He argued with me about it to the point that I stopped going to him, and switched physicians. After 10 years of exercising, doing weight bearing exercise, eating healthy, making sure to get enough vitamin D through being outside and calcium through my diet and supplements, I have pretty much stayed the same when I get my bone scans done. I never did develop osteoporosis, and still have the same amount of osteopenia. I think this is a bad drug, and wish people would take more natural steps to prevent osteoporosis. Voted Up, userful and interesting!

Paul Kemp profile image

Paul Kemp 4 years ago Author

Thank you, mperrottet, for your comment and personal experience with Fosamax. When I rarely hear drug commercials for various anti-depressants and sleep aids, I am startled by the long list of "rare" side-effects the announcer recites. One of the rare side-effects is, I am not making this up, Death.

I guess it's not a problem unless about 60,000 people have such a rare side-effect -- as they did with Vioxx. And still the pharmaceutical company dragged out the recall process to squeeze every last nickel of profit out of their deadly drug.

My belief is similar to yours: We all need to become more knowledgeable about the natural ways to maintain our health. And then, we need to do that religiously, whether it is smart eating, or exercising, or getting out in the sun and fresh air. Taking a pill every day is just not an acceptable substitute.

I'm glad to hear you got off Fosamax before any major damage and are now doing fine. You're a fast learner!

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