Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fosamax and 'Dead Jaw'

Fosamax is the 21st most-prescribed drug in the United States since 2006. It has generated billions of dollars in revenue for Merck. Fosamax works by poisoning an enzyme in one of the two bone cells of the body.

A recent study (1.1.09 J. of the American Dental Assoc.) found that osteonecrosis of the jaw was occurring at a much higher rate than is reported by its manufacturer Merck. Osteonecrosis of the jaw is also referred to as “dead jaw”. This situation is where a portion of the jaw loses its blood supply and the bone dies. There is no cure and no great treatment for this condition. Signs of osteonecrosis include pain and loosening of the teeth. It is a devastating illness which used to be very rare but has become much more common with the use of bisphosphonates (e.g., Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Zometa). One of the adverse effects of bishposphonate therapy is osteonecrosis of the jaw.

In fact Merck claims the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw is “negligible”. The doctor who published the article reported that his clinic is seeing one to four new cases per week. In researching his records, he found that 4% of the patients who were taking Fosamax had osteonecrosis. Osteonecrosis usually appears after a trauma such as a tooth extraction.

For years I have counseled my patients to avoid ever taking a bisphosphonate drug. Simply put, these have never been shown to prevent future fractures. Osteoporosis is not a ‘Fosamax-deficiency syndrome’. It is a nutritional and hormonal imbalance problem that can often be rectified by changing the diet (eliminate refined foods and dairy) and taking the correct supplements (including Vitamins K, D, and B12 as well as minerals). I have helped develop one product known as Osteo-elite. It contains the full complement of vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to produce and maintain healthy bone. It is available from or by calling 1.877.898.7873.

More information about osteoporosis, Fosamax and bisphosphonates can be found in my newest book, Drugs that Don’t Work and Natural Therapies that Do, 2nd Edition.


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