How big is the risk of jaw necrosis f...

How big is the risk of jaw necrosis from taking biphosphonates ...

There are 48 comments on the NLH Question Answering Service story from May 16, 2006, titled How big is the risk of jaw necrosis from taking biphosphonates .... In it, NLH Question Answering Service reports that:

Much of the literature we found related to the use of bisphosphonates in treating bone metastases .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NLH Question Answering Service.

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John Kutlich

Jeffersonville, IN

#1 Jun 17, 2006
Nice to see hard numbers instead of vague warnings. But still vague. So the risk is between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 1,000. But is that the risk for one person for the rest of his life, or the annual occurance per patient, or something else?
Laurel Hendrickson

United States

#2 Jun 18, 2006
I have been taking Actonel for two years now and just heard about the link between drugs like it and Fosamax and Jaw necrosis. I am wondering about any recent research and what is the outcome. What are the risk ratios? Thanks
Liz

Glendale, CA

#3 Jul 2, 2006
The problem is very real. Some are trying to sweet it under the carpet, but awareness is growing. For news and information on this subject and other bone health issues, visit Got Bones?: http://gotbones.healthdiaries.com
higher doses

United States

#4 Oct 22, 2006
from what i have read, this bone deterioration happens most with cancer patients who take very high doses of fosamax, usually an injected injected (with a needle) dose.

so far, as far as i know/can see, i have had no probs, but i also have not been th my dentist in years, and now that i need work done from my neglecting to go every 6 months, i'm am very wary and hope i don't have a problem with my jaw afterward.
Liz

Manhattan Beach, CA

#5 Oct 22, 2006
It's not just with cancer patients. That is what they want you to believe. Fosamax is Merck's new Vioxx. If you're smart, you'll get off it before you have problems.
Scared by big Pharm

Spencer, MA

#7 Nov 8, 2006
Like any other drug....it boils down to "how lucky do you feel?" What are your odds of not getting the side effect?
Should they have us sign papers now stating that we know the risks and are willing to take them?
Scary thing is that they continue to cover up these side effects (check out Lipitor forum too!!).
I would throw them in the garbage....read articles and you'll see that these pills aren't really doing your bones a lick of good anyway...it is all bogus.
Susanna

United States

#8 Aug 13, 2007
How soon after jaw surgery (like a bone surgery, moving bone from one spot to another) would the possible necrosis start? What are first signs?
Susanna
Sue

AOL

#9 Aug 13, 2007
pain is one of the signs, but the most
prevalent sign is NOT healing in the area
where the surgery began, thus leading to
infection.
phil

United States

#10 Aug 16, 2007
if you feel you have experienced a side effect, go to druginjurylegal.com and fill out a free case evaluation, the lawyers there can really help you out.
Diane

Calgary, Canada

#11 Sep 13, 2007
Liz wrote:
It's not just with cancer patients. That is what they want you to believe. Fosamax is Merck's new Vioxx. If you're smart, you'll get off it before you have problems.
it may not matter if you get off the drug, the damage may alreay be done.
Natalie Rosen

Roslindale, MA

#12 Sep 28, 2007
I went in for a blood test for something else and the nurse asked me what I was on for a leg I had polio in and have had successive femur fractures on. She mentioned that Fosamax the drug I am on was involved in jaw necrosis problems. I was on Forteo for these fractures for two years and now I am on Fosamax. Now I am worried about that as it appears there are questions about Fosamax's safety. I don't know what to do but have sent an email to my doctor asking about it. Any thoughts?
Quality of life wrote

Zurich, Switzerland

#13 Oct 5, 2007
Natalie Rosen wrote:
I went in for a blood test for something else and the nurse asked me what I was on for a leg I had polio in and have had successive femur fractures on. She mentioned that Fosamax the drug I am on was involved in jaw necrosis problems. I was on Forteo for these fractures for two years and now I am on Fosamax. Now I am worried about that as it appears there are questions about Fosamax's safety. I don't know what to do but have sent an email to my doctor asking about it. Any thoughts?
1.) fosamax is the badest drug in the world anyway!(Heart rythm, Necrosis, GI troubles, eye troubles, pain troubles etc)
2.) You shouldn't tage forteo with fosamax as the fosamax blunts what forteo did good to you. After forteo you should take a calcitonin (miacalcin, fortical). see also:
"Taken together, these studies show that, in both men and women, combination of alendronate with parathyroid hormone reduces the benefits of parathyroid hormone given alone. This is clearly one drug combination that shouldn't be used."
http://www.healthandage.com/public/health-cen...
Shelby

Plymouth, FL

#14 Jan 17, 2008
I was on Forteo too, and now they also want me on these drugs. Fortunately I was warned by a dentist about it, for otherwise, I might not have known. My Rhumatologist wants me on Fosamax, and to sweeten the pie told me that Fosamax will go generic next month, and the low risk to someone who was not on Chemmo or taking intravenouus medication. Then coincidently I was in the health spa, and a lady was mentioning that her friend took Foxamax has had problems with her jaw, along with the bleeding. I asked her if her friend was on Chemo or Intravenous drugs and she said no. Years ago she was on it, but not now. So I'm really concerned as to what to do, for Miacalcin Nasal Spay didn't work for me, or I wouldn't have been put on Forteo. Now those 2 years are up!!! Shelby
Quality of life wrote

Zurich, Switzerland

#15 Jan 18, 2008
Shelby wrote:
I was on Forteo too, and now they also want me on these drugs. Fortunately I was warned by a dentist about it, for otherwise, I might not have known. My Rhumatologist wants me on Fosamax, and to sweeten the pie told me that Fosamax will go generic next month, and the low risk to someone who was not on Chemmo or taking intravenouus medication. Then coincidently I was in the health spa, and a lady was mentioning that her friend took Foxamax has had problems with her jaw, along with the bleeding. I asked her if her friend was on Chemo or Intravenous drugs and she said no. Years ago she was on it, but not now. So I'm really concerned as to what to do, for Miacalcin Nasal Spay didn't work for me, or I wouldn't have been put on Forteo. Now those 2 years are up!!! Shelby
Shelby
Now that you have built up some bone with forteo, you go for miacalcin or fortical. Even if it doesn't furhter increase your bone, it will help to maintain your current bones plus it will increase the quality of your bone. It is not only the quantity that counts but more importantly the quality. Further on it has been shown anyway that none of the current op treatments is the best (see here: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Ost... )

Therefore you want to go for the safest!(Which is a calcitonin spray!)
kathy

United States

#16 Jul 20, 2008
you don't take any of these drugs. Period. Live your life out the way women once did. The drug companies will continue to slowly kill us if we let them. I'm off mine. But what good will that do? I was told that the half life was only 23 days. Years later a doctor just laughed at that statement and told me that drug reps will say anything.
Carol

Silver Spring, MD

#17 Sep 14, 2008
The mechanism of action (how the drug works in the physiology) of biphosphonates is really bad. It upsets the natural balance of bone metabolism. Far better advice would be to go on a serious weight training, body building program.
Additionally the WHO advises said that treatment for those with osteopenia (less than -2.5 on DEXA scan) is not cost effective with biphosphanates. The costs calculated over a lifetime are exhorbitant (see following published scientific reference to article). The costs of treating postmenopausal women with osteopenia (femoral neck T-scores > 2.5) for 5 years with alendronate (a biphosphonate like Fosamax) range from $70,000 to $332,000 per quality-adjusted life-year.
http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/14...
__________
Cost-Effectiveness of Alendronate Therapy for Osteopenic Postmenopausal Women
John T. Schousboe, MD, MS; John A. Nyman, PhD; Robert L. Kane, MD; and Kristine E. Ensrud, MD, MPH
Annals of Internal Medicine: 3 May 2005 | Volume 142 Issue 9 | Pages 734-741
__________
Jrw1512

Tarpon Springs, FL

#18 Sep 15, 2008
I took Fasomax for 2 years and have taken Boniva for two years. After 2 years my bone scan showed some improvement. I have had pain in my jaw for several months now. It hurts really bad if I yawn too big. I went to my dentist, and he's having me a night brace made. If I quit taking Boniva, will my jaw pain go away or get better?
Jrw1512

Tarpon Springs, FL

#19 Sep 15, 2008
I took Fasomax 2 years and have taken Boniva for two years. I have had pain in my saw for several months now. I went to my dentist, and he's having me a night brace made. If I quit taking Boniva, will my jaw pain go away?
Sherry

San Francisco, CA

#20 Oct 10, 2008
Laurel Hendrickson wrote:
I have been taking Actonel for two years now and just heard about the link between drugs like it and Fosamax and Jaw necrosis. I am wondering about any recent research and what is the outcome. What are the risk ratios? Thanks
I have also been taking Actonel for 2 years and just had a tooth extracted from my lower jaw. My dentist and doctor were both extremely worried due to my taking the Actonel. I am now off the Actonel and am waiting for my jaw to heal. The oral surgeon said the only way to know for sure is to get an expensive blood test, but as long as I am healing without any pain in my jaw or ear, it should be OK. She said taking the drug over 3 years makes it a much higher risk.
Trevor

United States

#21 Oct 21, 2008
I am a dentist, but not an expert on Bisphosphoate associated necrosis of the jaw (BON). There are many reasons for jaw pain, but these meds can be one source. Don't be alarmed. Get an exam and try the least invasive treatments first. Also, ask yourself why you are on these meds? A doctor recommended them based on a test. who made the test, and who made the drugs? Are you really better off taking the drugs? I would agree with the comment above that for bone density problems, take a walk, take a weights class, take aerobics, but don't take the drugs unless you are willing to accept the possible effects as more acceptable than the problem itself. Drug companies pander to the docs, and "educate" them. This makes the doc then Rx the drug based on what he/she has "learned". Not all meds are needed, and NONE carry no side effect.

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