Fosamax is a biphosphonate drug manufactured and marketed by Merck & Co, and has been approved by the USFDA to be used in the treatment of osteoporosis and several other bone diseases. Active ingredient in Fosamax is known as Alendronate Sodium. Biphosphonates are synthetic analogs of pyrophosphate that bind to the hydroxyapatite found in the bone. Fosamax acts as a specific inhibitor of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, thus preventing bone loss.
Administration of Fosamax can result in certain severe side effects. One such side effect is an ulceration of the esophagus. One should immediately consult a doctor if develops symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty in swallowing, chest pain, irritation and inflammation in the gastric cavity. In certain rare cases, auditory hallucinations and visual disturbances have been observed in patients administered with Fosamax.
Recent research studies have shown that excessive use of Fosamax can result in a serious complication referred to as osteonecrosis of the jaw, also known as ‘jaw rotting disease’ or ‘jaw death’. Jaw rotting disease is characterized by extremely painful jaws resulting due to a painful surgery or injury in the jaw bone, where the injury does not heal over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. This can lead to additional complications such as infection, breakdown of the jaw bone, osteomyelitis and ulcerations in the lining of the mouth. Jaw rotting disease primarily occurs due to imbalance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts in the jaw bone. Patients suffering from jaw rotting disease might require long-term antibiotic treatment and surgery to replace the dying jaw tissue.
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