Alabama Actonel Injury Lawyers
Actonel is a bisphosphonate. It is in the same drug class as other widely prescribed osteoporosis medications - Aredia, Boniva, Fosamax, Reclast and Zometa. These drugs are also being prescribed at an early age in over 36 million women due to the increased risks that come along with hormone replacement therapy. Because women are using these drugs at an increasingly younger age and for longer time spans, they are more susceptible to developing Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ).
ONJ signs and symptoms include: pain; loosening of the teeth; swelling or infection of the gums; poor healing of gums; drainage; and, exposed gums. Since 2001, there have been over 2,500 reported cases of ONJ after the use of Fosamax (also a bisphosphonate medication). The pain from this bone disease is so debilitating that over 150 victims of this medication have become functionally disabled, confined to their bed or who now rely on wheelchairs, walkers or crutches to ambulate.
The Dilorenzo Law Firm, LLC's Actonel injury lawyers are now evaluating cases and filing claims for patients who took the Paget's Disease and osteoporosis medication sold as Actonel® and suffered a femur fracture or bone fracture after taking the medication for more than three (3) years. Actonel was manufactured, distributed and marketed by Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.
Actonel Side Effects
There's a variety of side effects associated with Actonel use. The Actonel side effects claims we are pursuing on behalf of our clients is as follows:
- osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)
- dead jaw
- swelling or infection of the gums
- numbness or heaviness of the jaw
- exposed bone
- femur fractures
- hip fractures
- osteomyelitis: inflammation of bone marrow
Do I Have an Actonel Lawsuit?
The Dilorenzo Law Firm, LLC is currently accepting Actonel induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Actonel, you should contact our firm immediately for a free case consultation. Please use our contact form or call us toll free at 1 - (800) 200-3604 to have your case evaluated or to discuss your potential claims.
Actonel and Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)
The FDA approved Actonel (risedronate sodium) tablets on March 27, 1998, and a new formulation of the drug (to include a calcium component) on August 12, 2005. Actonel is in the non-nitrogenous class of bisphosphonates, meaning it contains a nitrogen atom. Other drugs within this class, such as Aredia® and Zometa®, are used in chemotherapy but are not indicated for use in treating non-cancerous conditions like osteoporosis. Two other drugs - Boniva and Fosamax - do fall into the same general category of bisphosphonates as Actonel.
ONJ, short for osteonecrosis of the jaw, is a painful and disfiguring condition resulting from infection of the jaw and exposed portions of bone inside the mouth, causing the jaw bone to decay and die. Symptoms may take weeks or months to become evident and may develop following trauma to the tooth, such as an extraction or other dental surgery that exposes jaw bone. While almost all cases of ONJ have occurred following dental work, several cases have been reported as having occurred in the absence of dental work when bone is exposed and subject to infection.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, medical articles and studies reported the frequent and common occurrence of ONJ following the use of nitrogenous bisphosphonates used for chemotherapy. Because Merck reported and acknowledged Fosamax side effects concerning irritation, erosion, and inflammation of the upper gastrointestinal tract, we believe Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals knew or should have known that Actonel, as a nitrogenous bisphosphonate, shared an adverse event profile similar to that of the other drugs within this specific subclass of bisphosphonates.
In addition, our Actonel side effect lawyers believe that Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals knew or should have known that bisphosphonates also inhibit the development of blood vessels in an organism or tissue of an affected area, resulting in an inadequate supply of blood, specifically to the lower and upper jaws. As a result, a minor injury or disease can turn into a non-healing wound that may then progress to widespread bone death and inflammation of bone marrow.
An article about bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw in the Oregon Dental Association's March 2006 newsletter cites an increasing number of complications associated with the use of bisphosphonate drugs and specifically names Fosamax as being associated with development of a disorder involving non-healing, necrotic exposure of bone in the jaws. The article uses the term bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw (BONJ). As a member of the same subclass, Actonel's manufacturers [Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals] were on notice about the potential harmful side effect.
Some state dental associations are now advising dentists to refrain from using any invasive procedure, such as drilling a cavity, on any patients who are taking Actonel. Once osteonecrosis begins and becomes symptomatic, it is very difficult to treat and is not reversible.
On January 7, 2008, the FDA issued an alert regarding the possibility of severe and sometimes incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle (musculoskeletal) pain in patients taking bisphosphonates. The alert said that severe musculoskeletal pain may occur within days, months, or years after starting a bisphosphonate.
Actonel Femur Fractures
Femur fractures are one potential side effect of Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva use.
In the Feb. 23, 2011, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) a study was published concluding that bisphosphonate use nearly triples the risk of drug-related femur fractures in patients who have taken the drug for more than five (5) years.
On Oct. 13, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised the warning label for Actonel and other bisphosphonates warning of the "risk of atypical fractures of the thigh, known as subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femur fractures, in patients who take bisphosphonates for osteoporosis." Atypical subtrochanteric femur fractures ( fractures in the bone below the hip joint) and diaphyseal femur fractures (fractures in the long part of the thigh bone) are rare but have been predominantly linked to patients taking bisphosphonates.
A study released in the March 20, 2010, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who took Fosamax for long periods of time suffered an unusually high rate of femur fractures. The fractures had a signature horizontal pattern, and all occurred as a result of falls from standing height or less. The study, conducted by the Hospital for Special Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, included 15 women who took Fosomax for more than five (5) years before suffering a femur fracture. Two-thirds of the women studied had taken Fosamax for seven (7) years or longer. The authors concluded that Fosamax and femur fractures are statistically correlated. Again, because Actonel falls within the same subclass, the drug is squarely implicated by this study.
The study’s authors also concluded that Fosamax [& Actonel] slows down the development of strong new collagen or causes microdamage in the bone, making its users more prone to fracture. This finding is important - it is now established that bisphosphonates cause bone fractures. In particular, bisphosphonates cause femur fractures.
Following the published study, the FDA issued an alert to physicians in January 2010 regarding the possibility of severe bone pain related to bisphosphonate therapy.
Alabama Actonel Lawsuits and Legal Representation
The Actonel bone fracture injury lawyers at The Dilorenzo Law Firm, LLC have a proven track record of success in helping our clients obtain compensation for injuries resulting from the use of dangerous medications like Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel.
Our experienced team of legal professionals and Alabama Actonel Injury Attorneys have been helping dangerous drug injury victims for years. We are dedicated to seeking real justice for the clients we serve and can assure each and every one of them that we will work diligently to achieve the best possible monetary result in each case.
Contact Alabama Actonel Injury Attorneys
Filing a Actonel Femur Fracture lawsuit can help patients and their families affected by the defective medications recover the financial compensation necessary to pay for expensive treatment and long term care.
If you or a loved one developed weakened bones and suffered a broken femur after Actonel use, you may have a defective product claim against Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.
Call our Birmingham, Alabama, offices today for a free consultation. Our office number is 1 - (800) 200-3604. Do not wait another day and risk losing your claim.
Alabama has a two year statute of limitations on filing certain product liability and personal injury claims. It takes time to acquire medical records and draft pleadings, so please do not delay in contacting us if you have any concern that your femur fracture may have been caused by Actonel.