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Retired Hawaii Teacher Files Lawsuit over Fosamax Side Effects

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Kailua, HIClaiming she suffered Fosamax side effects, including a thigh bone fracture, a retired Hawaii school teacher has filed a lawsuit against Merck & Co., contending the drugmaker is responsible for her injuries.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 62-year-old Lois Takamori filed the lawsuit against Merck after she allegedly broke her thigh bone after simply taking a step backward while speaking with friends in 2009.

In the lawsuit, she contends that the fracture of her thigh bone was a direct result of being prescribed Fosamax for eight years. The medication is often prescribed to postmenopausal women in order to help prevent bone loss as a result of osteoporosis, which is a relatively common condition for Asian and Caucasian women, according to the news source.

For her part, Takamori claims she was forced to undergo a number of surgeries in order to fix the fracture she suffered, according to the lawsuit.

Still, she claims that the bone has not been fully healed and that she continues to feel the effects of the fracture during her day-to-day activities.

"It's a devastating breakage because it doesn't heal. I have discomfort, can't walk without a cane, so it's very limiting," she said in the lawsuit.

Takamori's Fosamax lawsuit is hardly the first to be leveled against Merck, as the news source reports there were approximately 1,450 Fosamax cases filed in the US against the pharmaceutical company as of March 31. Other side effects that have been linked to the bone drug include a bone disease of the jaw called osteonecrosis and femur fractures, the news source said.

While Merck has won three of the four cases that have reached a verdict thus far, Takamori's Fosamax attorney explained that the drug itself is counterproductive to what it intends to fix.

"It turns out that this pharmaceutical that is, supposedly, to protect women from osteoporosis, actually, after long-term use, makes bones more brittle," the attorney told the news source.

While lawsuits like Takamori's remain to be settled, an advisory panel to the US Food and Drug Administration recently announced it plans to meet in September in order to evaluate the safety of long-term use of bone drugs such as Fosamax, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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