Pharmaceuticals containing bisphosphonates??"referenced by some as bisphosphonate drugs??"are prescribed primarily to combat the effects of bone density loss due to the aging process in post-menopausal women.
The problem, according to various reports, is that osteoporotic medication containing bisphosphonates have a long half-life, remaining in the body and active for an extended period of time measured in years, and often after the medication has been stopped.
This concern is amplified over the potential for bisphosphonates to trigger rare fractures of the femur, as well as osteonecrosis of the jaw, a grievous condition known as dead jaw, or ONJ. Various bisphosphonates lawsuits have alleged the medication has been more trouble than it's worth.
Various doctors have advocated for a holiday from bisphosphonates after five years of continuous use??"a policy supported by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To that end, the FDA is recommending a limit of continuous bisphosphonate use for no longer than three years at the earliest and five years at the latest, at least until more conclusive data is available.
Consumer Reports has weighed in through a question to its consumer column, 'Ask the Pharmacist.' (9/28/12). The magazine advises women with low bone density but without an actual diagnosis for osteoporosis to seriously reconsider the use of bisphosphonates unless absolutely necessary.
The benefits of bisphosphonate drugs, Consumer Reports says, do not appear to outweigh the risks of sudden fractures of the femur or that of ONJ, or 'so-called 'dead jaw.'
READ MORE BISPHOSPHONATES LEGAL NEWS
According to Lawyers Weekly USA (11/21/12), it is not known if the manufacturer of Zometa, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, is planning to appeal.
Bisphosphonates fractures can be alarming because they can occur with little warning, and stem from as simple an action as taking a step, according to reports.