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Fosamax linked to serious jaw necrosis


Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been previously linked to Intravenous bisphosphanates. Now a recent study shows that there is a link to oral bisphosphanates, particularly Fosamax which is commonly prescribed for osteoporosis.

This is the first large institutional study in the U.S. to investigate the relationship between oral bisphosphonate use and jaw bone death, said principal investigator Parish Sedghizadeh, assistant professor of clinical dentistry with the USC School of Dentistry.
After controlling for referral bias, nine of 208 healthy School of Dentistry patients who take or have taken Fosamax for any length of time were diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The study’s results are in contrast to drug makers’ prior assertions that bisphosphonate-related ONJ risk is only noticeable with intravenous use of the drugs, not oral usage, Sedghizadeh said. “We’ve been told that the risk with oral bisphosphonates is negligible, but four percent is not negligible,” he said.

It certainly is uncommon but unless one is aware of the possibility, one may not be looking out for these rarities.
I certainly haven’t come across any, indeed I have only seen one patient with ONJ who was treated with IV Zometa. The ONJ resolved with conservative dental treatment.

Related MMR posts:
Osteonecrosis of the jaw

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One Response to “Fosamax linked to serious jaw necrosis”

  • Vagus says:

    might be premature to jump to conclusions. this was a dental population which would almost inevitably be a very selected population. the 4% they quote seems unusually high.
    will have to try to get a hold of the pdf.
    thanks for sharing this, palmdoc!

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