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Fosamax On Again, Off Again

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Tampa, FLPhyllis had been on and off fosamax for several years and during that time suffered a Fosamax fracture. Even though fosamax lawsuits are now underway, it would appear that her doctor (and likely many others) believed the jury was still out on Fosamax side effects.

Phyllis, age 62, was prescribed Fosamax for osteoporosis and she took the drug for two years before her doctor told her to stop taking it. “He told me it could have adverse reactions but he didn’t elaborate,” says Phyllis. “He didn’t specify that it would ruin my life by breaking a bone. And there were no warnings on the label. Besides, I had faith in my doctor and faith in the FDA’s approval process. How wrong I was.”

Who would ever think that a drug could produce the opposite effect - that a medication prescribed to increase bone density and strengthen bones could actually cause breaks and fractures?

“I was prescribed Boniva, which was heralded as a medical breakthrough at the time, but it contained the same crap as Fosamax,” Phyllis says. “After a year on this drug, my doctor didn’t like the results of my bone density test so he put me back on Fosamax.

“In January 2008, I was walking to my car and talking to my sister on my cell phone. I told her that I felt a cramp in my leg and I could barely move. I managed to get into the car and blasted the horn; it was the most horrible feeling. People came to the rescue and stayed with me until the ambulance came.”

Phyllis got to the hospital in screaming agony. They told her that she likely had bone cancer - there was no other explanation as to why she suffered such a fracture. Not only was she in physical pain, the thought of having cancer, combined with staying in a nursing home for a month, caused severe depression.

“I had to wait 38 days to realize I didn’t have cancer,” Phyllis explains. “And being in that nursing home (I couldn’t walk or move) was so demoralizing. I couldn’t even get up and relieve myself because I was unable to sit on a toilet. Now I have a rod coming from my hip, down and around the femur with titanium screws, nails and rods.

The surgeon kept me on Fosamax while I was recovering. They had no explanation as to how I suffered this fracture. The first week after I got out of the nursing home I saw a rheumatologist, a chiropractor, and two general doctors, all of whom said that osteoporosis caused my injury.”

Next up, her rheumatologist prescribed Forteo, yet another osteoporosis medication. Phyllis had Forteo injections every day for two years (at this point she was on disability), until her rheumatologist called in a panic, telling her that the drug had been linked to bone cancer. She was back on Fosamax again.

In 2009, Phyllis was in church and fell down walking to the pew. “When I came to, I saw the crucifix and thought, Thank god I am finally in heaven - no more pain,” says Phyllis, laughing. “Then I saw my pastor. He looked so worried, he probably thought I slipped on holy water and I was going to sue the church. Off to the hospital I went again, followed by another three months of rehab.

“To this day I still walk with a cane and my leg has never been the same. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since this happened - I have to sleep on my back with pillows propped around me so I don’t move. I can’t climb any steps and I have to use a wheelchair bought from a garage sale.

“I recently developed a bursa on the site of the surgery. Then I broke my toe, and trying to catch myself, I sprained my ankle. I can’t go anywhere that doesn’t have a shopping cart, and I can only walk 10 feet before I have to stop. I am only without pain during aquatic therapy and I can’t take painkillers because I have a heart murmur.

“As for a Fosamax lawsuit, I figure that the makers of Fosamax should at least buy me a decent wheelchair. I won’t be suing my doctors - or my priest - but they are worried, regardless. My cousin is a nurse and she says that none of the doctors she works with prescribe Fosamax anymore. Chalk up my experience to bad timing.”

July 1, 2013:
Dear Jane,

Thank you so much for your story on my Fosamax HORROR.

Just to let you know that just last night I was back in the emergency room. My leg is so weak that while I was just doing a simple chore, my leg weakened and I fell. I grabbed the garbage pail in my kitchen while going down and it slipped and I actually fell into the pail injuring my left rib and now off to the ER at 11:00 PM last night. They felt I needed a CT scan and it came back saying I had a Contusion to the Rib. I was actually happy that it wasn't worse, but this is all a string of awful things that is linked to that one injury. I got home at 3:17 AM and of course, I was offered every narcotic known to man for the pain, but I decided to go, once again with my Tylenol and Ice. I slept now with the pillows for my leg, ice for my rib, and now pillow left for my head. Life is good.

Thank you for listening, thank you for putting my story out there, thank you for understanding, thank you thank you.

God Bless, Phyllis

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