The prescription drug Actonel (risedronate sodium) is a medication which has been prescribed to hundreds of thousands of postmenopausal women to treat osteoporosis and help increase bone mass thereby reducing the chance of spinal or non-spinal fractures. Actonel has also been prescribed to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis. This drug is marketed in the United States by Warner Chilcott Company, LLC , though it may be manufactured by Warner Chilcott Company, LLC (of Puerto Rico), Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (of New York), or Chinoin Pharmaceutical and Chemical Works Private Co. Ltd (of Hungary). Side effects of Actonel may include the following:
1. Esophagus problems including irritation, inflammation, or ulcers
2. Low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia) which may lead to muscle spasms, twitches, or cramps as well as numbness or tingling in the face, fingers, toes, and around the mouth
3. Severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis)
4. Bone, joint, or muscle pain
5. Unusual thigh bone fractures
ABC News ran a story on May 10, 2012 about the dangers of “bone drugs” stating, “In a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about the potential for some serious side effects in women taking bone-building drugs called bisphosphonates, specifically Fosamax, Actonel and Reclast. The published findings are not new. In 2011, the agency voiced concerns that taking the drugs long-term may actually make bones weaker and increase the risk of rare but serious side effects such as atypical fractures of the thigh bone, esophageal cancer and osteonecrosis of the jaw, a rare but painful condition in which the jaw bone crumbles. To investigate, the FDA reviewed data from women who had taken the drugs for six to 10 years.” Underscoring just how common these medications are prescribed, ABC News commented, “According to the FDA, doctors wrote more than 150 million prescriptions for bisphosphonates between 2005 and 2009.”
If your physician has prescribed Actonel for you, you should immediately discuss whether there are safer alternative drugs for you. After weighing the risks and benefits, you and your physician can determine what drug is best for you. If you live in California, have taken Actonel, and have developed any of the five side effects listed above, you should know that attorney and physician Paul J. Molinaro is available to answer your legal questions and help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation from the manufacturer of this drug. You can reach Paul J. Molinaro, M.D. J.D. toll free at (888)MDJDLAW. The initial consultation is also free, and if Paul determines that you have a case, and you decide to hire Paul, he will represent you on a contingent basis.