Health Diaries > Got Bones?

July 17, 2006

Fosamax Side Effects

We've talked a lot about the link between Fosamax (alendronate) and jaw osteonecrosis, but what about the other side effects of Fosamax? From what I've heard, bone pain is a common side effect of this drug. In fact, many women report such severe bone pain that they are hardly able to function. If this drug is supposed to make women (and men) stronger, why is it making so many weaker? The company lists the following as possible side effects: worsening heartburn, difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain, and severe bone, joint, and/or muscle pain. It says that "severe bone, joint and/or muscle pain" has been reported but is "rare." And does the official Fosamax site say anything about jaw osteonecrosis? Here's what it says, buried deep in the document:

"Rarely, patients have had jaw problems associated with delayed healing and infection, often following tooth extraction."

There's a big difference between "delayed healing and infection" and osteonecrosis of the jaw. The vagueness of the phrase "jaw problems" would be amusing if so many people weren't suffering from these "problems."

What about the woman who ended up with her jaw bone in a bucket?

We'd like you to post your Fosamax side effects here. Just click on the "comments" link and let us know what your experiences have been. This page will be a spot where people can share their experiences, both good and bad, so others can decide if they want to take this drug and other bisphosphonates. If you've had no side effects we'd like to hear from you, too.

Posted by Tracy on July 17, 2006 10:55 PM | DIGG | | furl


I've had severe muscle / bone pain, lost muscle in my legs so much so that if I dropped anything when I tried to pick it up I'd need to crawl over to a chair or table and pull myself leg muscles at all. So, if you loose muscle while taking Fosamax, what is it doing to your heart (muscle)? And, yes, lost jaw bone too.

I have been taking Fosamax for 2 years. I was diagnosed with osteoperosis and prescribed Fosamax. After the first year a bone scan showed a reverse in bone mass and I was no longer considered as having osteoperosis. I read about the side effect of mandibular necrosis with Fosamax in Dr Gott's column and am concerned. I was told to take a calcium supplemant daily when I started to take Fosamax which I have done religiously. I have wondered if the calcium was actually what caused the improvement. Because of this horrible side effect I think I will stop the fosamax and continue the clacium and see what the bone scan shows next year. Maggie so sorry to hear about your results.

My wife has been on Fosamax since at least 7/1/01. We are checking with the pharmacy to research their records to see if she started earlier than that date.

Around late 2002 she started having bone pain of 5 on a scale of 0-10. Also terrible head aches.

Up to that time I can't remember when she had a headache.

She also has terrible jaw and eye socket pain.

She wanted to stop Fosamax in September 2005 but her doctor insisted that a "future back fracture would be far worse pain".

A recent cat scan indicates she now has osteo arthritis in every joint of her body.This, even though she has no swelling in any joint that is typical of osteo arthritis. And she never had the slow leadup joint to joint pain that is the usual way osteo arthritis progresses.

She had no progression. Suddenly it was osteo arthritis over her entire body. Is that believable?

She saw a rheumatologist who pronounced it Osteo arthritis and offered to prescribe pain killers but showed no interest in researching the possible cause of the disease or further narrowing down the specific type of arthritis.

Last week my wife at my request stopped Fosamax.

Info on the internet suggests that the possible side effects could last 10-12 years. She is 73 years old. So she must bear this pain, possibly until she is 85.

We need more sites on the internet to warn poeople of possible dire unlisted side effects of drugs.

And what about doctors who when told of their patients side effects from the drug insist they continue on the drug.

The "tear sheet" on the drug says that the patient should contact their doctor if they experience side effects. But what protects the patient from the doctor who insists that the patient continue on with use of the drug regardless of the side

Any suggestions would be appreciated

Richard B

I have been taking Fosamax for about three years. In the beginning it seemed to have helped. But my bone scan worsened and she put me on another medication. It made me feel like I was having a heart attack. My doctor said it was my esophagus. My doctor took me off of it and put me back on Fosamax. I am only now realizing that this medication is making me feel terrible. This past year my chest hurt so bad that I could not wear a bra. The pressure was terrible. I also have frequent heart flutterings. My bones also hurt especially in my elbows, ankles and hips. I have frequent pain in my right back under my ribs. I finally had enought sense not to take it any more. My question is how long do I have to be off of it to start feeling good enough or have I already done some damage to my body by taking this drug. I'd rather have a broken bone than to feel this way.

I had a bone density test that resulted in an "at risk" assessment. My doctor prescribed Fosamax. Within 12 hours of taking my first dose, I was completely debilitated with hip pain, but thought it might be a fluke. Took it again the second week and could barely move. Felt like I needed a hip replacement. That's it for me. I won't be taking Fosamax.

Richard & Nancy
It took me about 2 months to realize that I felt better after I stopped taking Fosamax. I'm still not 100% but I do not have the pain that I did have. Hang in will get better. My Aunt was on Fosamax and having the same problems as me...I urged her to stop taking it (she has) and after one month of not taking it, she's feeling better. The improvement will be gradual.

I took fosamax for 1 year. During that year I had 2 tooth fractures that were a mystery. I take religous care of my teeth and couldn't understand how this could happen. After the second fracture I mentioned the fact that I was on this drug to my dentist. He said he knew of no issues with this drug and teeth. I am now convinced that the drug caused these teeth problems. I was told my bone scan was fine and to discontinue the use last year. I have had no dental issues since. I will never take it again.

Hmm.. I have a had a rare tooth resorbtion while on fosamax. (ie my jaw bone dissolved one of my teeth).. but my top jaw healed ok. Intestingly though, there has been a fair amount of bone loss around that resorbtion.

I started taking Fosamax just over a year ago. Since then I have had severe joint and muscle pain, my body stiffens during the night to the point I feel like rigor mortis has set in. I also have excruciating pain in the ribs in my back. All of which my doctor diagnosed as arthritis and just getting older. Only recently did I start relating all of these symptoms to Fosamax. After researching the drug and speaking to Merck, I'm absolutely confident that all of these symptoms are side effects of Fosamax. I have been off Fosamax for 1 month now, the stiffness has improved some, however, the rib pain is still unbearable. If anyone has experienced this and recovered, please let me know, as I am desperately afraid that Fosamax has done permanent damage to my body.

My doctor prescribed Fosamax for my Osteopenia. I took it for over a year and a bone density test indicated no further deterioration and a slight improvement on one side.

However, my leg pains worsened to the point that it interrupted my sleep. I decided I'd rather face the prospect of Osteoperosis than the on-going leg & muscle pains.

So I called my doctor and told him I was going off the Fosamax. He asked if I wanted to try something else, but I told him I'd researched the alternatives and they sounded like more of the same.

He told me to go ahead but keep him informed. It's been about 2 years since I went off the drug and I am pain free. I have increased my calcium intake. I now take no prescriptions whatsoever and feel just fine. (I am 66 years old)

I took fosamax for 18 months.During that time I had a frozen shoulder, muscle and bone pain, creaky joints and an all over feeling of disability. I've been off fosamax for 6 weeks and I'm still having terrible hip pain. I'm going to therapy to see if it will help. I've gone from a healthy, active 67 year old to a creaky old woman. I'm so upset that a drug that's supposed to help me is instead destroying my life.

My bone density scan showed osteoporosis. Doc recommended Fosomax. I refused, saying I'd done my own research, plus speaking to other women who'd taken it, and said I'd go the natural way with calcium, magnesium, vit. d and vit. k. Doc was not too happy with me. Don't care, HE'S not feeling side-effects!! I walk 1-2 hrs daily, do weight bearing exercises and generally feel very well (and intend to continue feeling this way).

I am 53 years old and had never had any joint pain until I was put on Arimidex (post breast cancer medication). After three weeks of getting worse (increased joint/bone pain and difficulty getting up and down), I quit the drug even though my oncologist tried to persuade me to stay on it (I was Stage 1 and only getting a 1% benefit from the drug). I tested negative for arthritis and was put on pain medication. Through the internet, I read of women ending up in wheelchairs due to this drug. After being off of Arimidex for about 9 months, the side effects finally disappeared. I had been pain free for 2 years.

Recently, I was put on Fosamax by my primary care physician based only on the fact that I am post-menopausal. A subsequent bone scan showed that my bones are normal for my age, but was encouraged by my primary care physician and oncologist to take Fosamax anyway.

I heard horror stories about "jaw problems," and discussed this with my pharmacist. She said there wasn't enough evidence for the drug company to pull it.

I've only been taking Fosamax for about 3 months, and I have been concerned lately about the sudden joint pain I've been experiencing. I began to wonder if I was finally getting arthritis. However, after researching the internet and visiting this website, I am convinced that Fosamx, like Arimidex, is the cause of the sudden joint pain. I feel fortunate that my joint pain is realtively mild and am hopeful that I have quit this medication before doing permanent damage. From now on I will stick with calcium citrate and weight bearing exercise.

It is unfortunate that doctors so readily prescribe dangerous drugs, especially when there is little or no benefit. I am at a very low risk for cancer recurrence and have no bone loss, yet my doctors have tried to persuade me to take potentially debilitating medications. Nowadways, patients need to be very proactive in their medical treatments.

I hope my story will be helpful to others, and will post a follow-up when the Fosamx side effects go away.

I have been on Fosamax for a few years now and since last fall I have big problems on the right side of my face and a back pain. I just found out from a friend that there was bad side effects with Fosamax so I decided to check it out and I am glad to have read the above comments; I will for sure consider to stop taking Fosamax. I was told that I had TMJ or Myofacial Syndrome? Because it feels like a toothache and electric shoc as well it is very painful. I went twice to see my Dentist and they could not find anything, then my Doctor sent me to see a Neurologist and he then sent me for a CT Scan the result was that they could not find anything so I went for a few massage still the pain did not go away, I had a few treatments with the Chiroprator and I thought that it helped except the pain in the back still was there and this summer on my holiday I was in terrible pain it felt like a toothache this time on top not at the bottom so I now started to see a Physiotherapist and he applies some small needle but the pain still stays. I have also since a few months ago a retainer - mouth peace for the night to sleep with. I have to say that the pain in my back is less now it was just one spot and last week I purchased a massage pad to put on a chair and it helps a bit.

I thought I would share my experience. Thank you.

Ihave been on fosamax for around 10 months for osteopenia. About a month ago I experienced severe chest pain after taking my fosamax. I also have had tightness and gagging feeling in my throat for months that I thought was attributed to cervical stenosis in my neck. I am now thinking that it was due to the fosamas. I am in extreme pain many days with the chest pains and gaggy feeling. I am on prilosec and zantec and am scheduled for an esophogram in the next week. I also have had arm and joint pain in my fingers that I think may be due to the fosamax also. Does anyone have these symptoms and have had an esophagram? I am hoping I did not due any permanent damage.


November 2005 my 81 year old mother started taking Fosamax for low bone density. She had a severe reaction that resulted in her losing all her energy; she could barely walk or move. The Dr. took her off it for 3 weeks and most of her energy returned. Dr. put her back on Fosamax and she did not suffer the severe reaction but became gradually weak to the point 9 months later she had to stop taking Fosamax (Drs direction) because of a severe bone infection. Blood tests were done and all blood indicators extremely low (RBC, WBC, and Platelets). Bone/Bone marrow tested possitive for advanced MDS (pre-leukemia). When combining the above timing and the facts that MDS is a bone marrow desease and Fosamax is a drug that acts directly on the bone, makes me very suspicious that Fosamax had something to do with my mother developing advanced MDS.

I have been on Fosamax since 2001, following a broken hip. Since that time I have lost most of my teeth. Now I know why. I have also noticed some very mild muscle aches, mild "heart burn", and an occasional tightness in my throat. Does anyone know if any class action suits have been initiated?

I have been on Fosamax for probably 8-10 years. After the first year - tremendous improvement and steadily better or no worsening. Osteo runs rampant in the women in my family so I jumped at the opp to stop this disease. The last year (I'm 59) I feel like I'm 80 years old. My feet, ankles and knees are so stiff when I get out of bed in the a.m. or after sitting for a while that I can barely walk for a while. My knees pop and crack and I can barely stoop down to pick up anything - my hands hurt a lot - especially finger joints. I also had a tooth mysteriously loosen to the point I lost the tooth and had to have a bridge. I think after reading these comments I will stop the Fosamax immediately and make sure I get the calcium - what good is the drug if it makes your condition possibly worse than if you didn't take it.

Pain has nothing to do with pain. And if your misguided to accept this idea than I opologies but I do have the right to call you stupid.

If responding to me - you certainly have the right to call me stupid - but ignorance doesn't qualify you do so.


This is a place for sharing personal experiences. If you have had an experience with Fosamax, please share it rather than calling other people stupid.

You said "pain has nothing to do with pain." Did you mean to say "Fosamax has nothing to do with pain"?

If so, then you are completely wrong. Bone pain is one of the stated side effects of this drug.

I've been on Fos for almost 5 years and get along fine on it. I have had a dramatic increase in bone density, particularly in the last two years, and I'd like to think my excercise and diet have played a larger role than the Fosamax, but maybe the cumulative effect of the Fos is key.
I am now up from osteopenia to NORMAL range of bone density.

Of course, from what I've read that may not mean much. The bone rebuilt with Fosamax may just look good on the scan and not really be strong. But.. I fall down occassionally, and if anyone was going to break something I would have by now.

Anyway, I have a (free weekly) Google Alert set for Fosamax and I get news when it comes out. I got one study which indicates that after 5 years on Fos, the rate of broken bones does not improve any farther. I think my Dr. must have read this too - when I called to see when my 5 years is up they said they were just contacting people who'd been on that long and I wouldn't be "up" till February. So I'm going off then, or sooner - I have one more Fos tablet left and the dr. gave me my next prescription for Boniva, so I have one of those. I'm really ready to quit them all and take my chances.

I work hard at excercise and diet, including calcium rich foods, taking a variety of types of calcium, monitoring my D intake (not too little OR too much) and monitoring my magnesium so it is in proportion. I take less D in the summer when I get sun, and though I primarily take Calcium Citrate, sometimes I take carbonate. I'm hedging my bets.

I have been on Fosamax for almost a year and all my joints hurt as well as my back. I have difficulty standing up and walking after I have been sitting for a while, but the worst is my fingers which had alway been nimble and without arthritis are now painful and stiff. I play the piano and I'm afraid I won't be able to do that very much longer if I keep taking this drug. I don't know if the good of taking this drug outweighs the bad side effects. I don't think so.

I have only taken Fosamax for one month and already have terrible heartburn and burning in esophagus. From what I read and hear, I think I will stop. Keep the suggestions coming.

I had been to the doctor and he noticed that I had shrunk tremendously in a year so sent me for a bone density. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. That was about 3 years ago. Over the years all of a sudden a few of my teeth were infected and fell out with major infections. I had to have a bridge made. Lately, I just said to my husband I can't bend down without my knees hurting and walking up the stairs is sometimes a chore. Not very severe but enough to notice. I also feel like I have aged tremendously. My joints in my fingers also hurt at times and I have been suffering with terrible leg cramps at night. I was told I didn't have enough potasium. I have always been a healthy eater and exercise and I feel like I am 100 years old sometimes. Recently, I went to the dentist for my cleaning and because another tooth cracked. I need a crown and was told I have some bone loss. I thought how could that be when I am on fosamax. She noticed on my chart that I was on Fosamax. The hygenist told me to do some research as one of their patients went to the dental surgeon and he would not touch her because she was on Fosamax. He told her to go off for 6 mos. before he would look at her. My doctor tried to prescribe hormones originally which I would not take and I received a lecture on how I have to protect my bones. Now all of this information comes out on hormones and Fosamax. What are alternatives? I just took it Monday and am going to discontinue it. I have had a recent bone density test. I have held my own but not built back any bone. Surprise Surprise...These drug companies are so interested in the bottom line, they will not fess up to how harmful these drugs can be. Everyone I know in my age group is on one of these types of drugs. I am going to stop taking it and see if some of these symptoms subside. My Husband has rheumotoid arthritis and complains about his knee. I feel like I am whining when I tell him my knee hurts. Now I know I am probably not imagining the pain.

Tooth resporption? Hair loss?
Aches and pains in shoulder and arm? Got 'em all....and sure never had them BEFORE
I was on Actonel (now Boniva)........ Most interesting to see others.
As for John, it's impossible to understand him. I'm betting he has never been on these products. Just a guess, of course....

I've been on Fosamax for one year. Over that year, I've developed alot of the complaints I'm reading here. HORRIBLE shoulder pain with frozen shoulder, come and go pain in hip, one elbow, one knee and ankle. Pins and needles in heel, and my most recent...heart "fluttering". I've always had "teeth" problems, but they are MUCH more pronounced now. I'm DONE with Fosamax or any of the other look-alikes. I'll now be concentrating on calcium, vitamin D and weight resistance exercises. Damn. I'm mad. They should take this OFF the market!

And John! According to Kerry, go to Irak! Your(sic) stoopid (sic)! No need to "opologies" (sic)!

Hi there .....for those of you people who have had problems on fosamax? have u tried taking Actonel..I had serious side effects on Fosamax, I have now been taking Actonel for 1yr, all my problems have gone. Obviously it isnt for everyone.

I've been on fosamax for four years - didn't realize all the side effects until lately when I looked them up. My stomach is bloated - very itchy - nauseaus all the time -flu like symtoms - dull headaches - chest pains - I'm quitting fosamax today. Life is too short to feel this way.

I have been comtemplating going on Fosamax since being diagnosed with osteopenia @ 4 years ago. My sister takes Fosamax and has been pressuring me to, also. I prefer to go the "natural" route in most health issues and, thanks to all your comments, will continue on that course. I do hope that you who are experiencing pain will find relief, soon.

I was very interested to read everyone's comments. I am at high risk for osteoporosis and have osteopenia in part of hip and lower spine. I am 56, a personal trainer, run, bike and weight train regularly. I had read about the risks of Fosomax in a book called "What Your Doctor Won't Tell you about Menopause" by Dr. John Lee. When it was prescriped I balked at taking it. My doc said I should as he had researched it and was not problem. Then I went to a cosmetic dentist who warned me about taking it - said he had seen many instances of jaw necrosis from it. So... I don't know what to do. I am upping intake of Calcium, D, Zinc and Magnesium.

I have a good friend whose husband is a dentist and she said that he has seen quite an increase of problems in patients who are on Fosamax. Also, she said that there are new ads on T.V. warning of some of the risks involved with taking it. I haven't seen these but, after reading some of your experiences, am not surprised.

I have been taking Fosamax for 2 years. Have hip, back, and leg pain, plus muscle and tendon spasms and cramps. Also peripheral nerve damage in both legs and numbness in the balls of my feet and my toes. Anyone else with these neurological symptoms? I stopped taking Fosamax 2 weeks ago. My pharmacist said I would notice a difference in about 2 months. He was more candid and informed about side effects than my doctor.

My doctor prescribed Fosamax after I scored poorly on the bone density test. After about 6 weeks my hair started falling out. I continued with this medication for another 2 weeks & decided "enough"!! At the rate I was losing hair, I would be bald by Christmas. I have gone from a thick head of hair to "baby" hair. I've been off Fosamax for 3 weeks, but I'm still shedding. Has anyone else experienced this? And will the hair loss eventually stop? Will it grow back?

After being diagnosed with osteopenia 3 years ago, my doctor put me on Actonel 1x/wk, favoring that brand over Fosamax in my case as I already had acid reflux problems for which I was taking Prilosec. Just recently I have been having mysterious pain in my lower jaw, running the entire span of the jaw and I see that the gum beneath the tooth line has considerably changed color and to me looks as though it is receding. Although Fosamax is commonly mentioned in reports of serious side effects from biophosphonates, I cannot think of any other cause for this gum problem than Actonel. During the three years, I have also lost most power in my upper arms and shoulders and have intermittent pain in both thumbs. I have been on a regular calcium regimen all along, but decided to cut out the calcium/magnesium combo a year ago as I thought it was contributing to intestinal problems I was experiencing. Perhaps that decision led to some of my current problems, so I am considering replacing the magnesium into my regimen in hopes that it will help my bone/tooth situation. I would be interested to read more posts than exist from people who have been taking Actonel and who have experienced any kind of muscle/tooth/jawbone problems. Rosemary

my dr did a bone density on me & put me on fosamax, because i have to work & don't need any broken bones i took the meds.A yr later I have aches & pains i thought it was from getting older(60), but in good health.After reading the comments I read I have a lot of the same ailments,pain in the hips,stiffness,feet hurt,my back hurts and spine and knees sometimes poking in my back i thought were fractures.My job keeps me on my feet all day & some days i feel like crying it hurts so bad. Is Fosamax safe to be on the market?? What happens if i stop taking it? I am very active & hate feeling this way.

I was a long distance power walker all through my forties. went into a severe depression at 50 and stopped doing so and gained 100 lbs..Last july, I decided to do something about it and have lost that 100 lbs in the past year. All this past summer, I averaged 50 miles pe week with no aches and pains whatsoever. Started having back discomfort, dr sent me for bone density test, found osteopenia. Began on Foxomax in Sept...Last six weeks intense pain thigh, knee, down to ankle. Dr says I'm 59 now, probably arthritis...Hobbling around like old lady. jogged walked yesterday eight miles and couldn't move last night...You don't go from 50 miles per week in July to intense I'm quitting the drug. Was supposed to t ake it today. No way in hell. I only pray two months of use didn't do permanent damage

I don't remember exactly how long after my doctor put me on Fosomax before I started having balance problems. I taught dancing for 21 years and then started having terrible pain in my knees. All the doctor did was prescribe pain pills, and said that I had Osteoarthritus due to my age of 81.I am so healthy otherwise. I could hardly walk so I had knee replacement.It took the pain away but ever since I can hardly walk without stumbling. After reading all this about Fosomax I will stop taking it. I told my doctor this and he really argued with me, and tried to change my mind. Do the doctors get a kick-back from prescribing Fosomax? I do hope my stopping this drug will inprove my walking (stumbling) so it doesn't look like I am drunk. (I don't drink!!!)

I am only 35 and had a bone density test done. I learned that I had osteoporosis -4 in different parts of my body. I was taking Fosamax and experienced the same side effects, pain in shoulders, arms,back and legs. I am currently taking Actonel, calcium, D and still having the pain. My bones are always cracking and aching. I am to young to feel this much pain. After reading all this informaion I think I will stop taking Actonel.

I am 47 and I was diagnosed with osteoporosis after having a bone density test. I have only taken the Fosamax twice. After the first dose I noticed that I had pain and stiffness in my back and neck. I thought I had just pulled something. I just took my second dose and feel terrible. My whole body aches and my neck is stiff. I didn't realize this was a side effect. Is it possible to have a reaction this quickly?

I've lost approximately 2.5 inches in height, Dr put me on Fosamax, within days I started having aches over my eyes, it progressed down the right side of my face and into my jaw & teeth, in last week had two fillings replaced, dentist could'nt find any explanation & pain still felt even with novicane, am taking antibiotics & pain medication with little help. have stopped the fosamax....

I took Fosamax for over three years, starting in 2001, after a DEXA showed I had osteopenia. Four months after I started taking Fosamax I recorded in my diary that I had severe pain in my left hip. Later this spread to my right hip. I became quite lame, especially after sitting at my desk or in a car. I had x-rays and ultrasounds on my hip but the cause was never diaganosed. The problem got so bad I was on the verge of giving up trekking and cross country skiing - two of my favourite activities until I found Ibuprofen gave short-term relief. Then I started taking glucosamines and after a couple of months the pain levels dropped and I could lie on my left side in bed again - which I had not done for a couple of years - and I could walk normally. It did not occur to me that Fosamax might have caused my hip pain until I read the comments on this site. Then I checked when I started taking Fosamax and when the hip pain started and made the connection.

I took Fosamax for over three years, starting in 2001, after a DEXA showed I had osteopenia. Four months after I started taking Fosamax I recorded in my diary that I had severe pain in my left hip. Later this spread to my right hip. I became quite lame, especially after sitting at my desk or in a car. I had x-rays and ultrasounds on my hip but the cause was never diagnosed. The problem got so bad I was on the verge of giving up trekking and cross country skiing - two of my favourite activities until I found Ibuprofen gave short-term relief. Then I started taking glucosamines and after a couple of months the pain levels dropped and I could lie on my left side in bed again - which I had not done for a couple of years - and I could walk normally. It did not occur to me that Fosamax might have caused my hip pain until I read the comments on this site. Then I checked when I started taking Fosamax and when the hip pain started and made the connection.

I starting taking Fosomax around May of 2004. After two months of therapy I noticed pain in my knees. I even asked my endocrinologist if the use of this class of drugs was associated with knee pain. After three months I developed an 'allergic type' intolerance to Fosomax and swithched to Actonel. I was on Actonel for about one year, but had to quit when I developed debilitating bone pain. My knee pain continued to progress. Since then I have been diagnosed with severe chondromalacia and experienced three meniscal tears, two meniscal cysts and reactive synovitis. There are certainly numerous risk factors for knee injury, however I find the timing of these injuries to be quite curious. Is there any documentation of the effects these drugs have on cartilage? Since my job requires physical labor I am on the brink of applying for permanent disability.

I have been on zometa which I believe works the same way as fosamax, but is in iv form - stronger for bone metastasis. I was fine for 2 years, but then started experiencing muscle spasms, pulled muscles, muscle aches, etc. They come and go and move around - as soon as one muscle "heals" another starts hurting. I also have low energy, and walking now tires me....Has anyone had this type of experience with zometa? I worry that our docs don't look at the side effects that come from taking a drug over a long period of time....

I am a 53 yr. old retired RN (now a semi-truck driver)with a history of premature menopause, both parents with osteoporosis, and loss of height. I was diagnosed last year with osteo. and was started on Fosamax. Because I have a history of reflux (on Prilosec), I have been monitoring for esophageal and GI symptoms. Luckily, I've had none. I DID suddenly have a fractured molar that required extraction and a sinus bone graft last Nov. Then, about 3 months ago I began experiencing severe deep joint pain in both hips, left knee and muscle pain in the left leg. I'm also having marked stiffness in the AM, or with sitting for any length of time. I mentioned these symptoms to my MD who ordered a hip xray, which was normal. A few days later, my 80 y.o. mother asked me if it could be from the Fosamax, because she is taking Actonel, and her informational sheet had warnings about calling your MD if you experience sudden onset of joint or muscle pain with taking the med. Sure enough, I went back and reviewed the informational sheet for Fosamax, and found the same warning! Go figure it... an 80 y.o. picking up on this, and not an RN of 30 yrs... Regardless, I called my MD, and questioned the possibility of the pain being related to the Fosamax. He immediately said there was no correlation, and ordered labs. to rule out rheumatoid arthritis and some other immunosuppressive disorders. Yesterday his office called to schedule an appt. for 3 wks. from now. When I asked what the reason for the appt. was, the caller didn't know! Needless to say, I have been searching for info. about Fosamax and with reading the previous comments, I am almost certainly convinced that there is definitely a correlation between the med. and my sudden onset of symptoms (which are only mildly relieved with max. doses of ibuprofen). I plan to continue to monitor my symptoms until my appt. in 3 wks. and will probably discontinue the med. after that time. As with the others: diet, exercise, supplemental minerals and vitamins may have to be the plan for the future. Hopefully the pain and debilitating symptoms will resolve.

I was very interested to read all of the comments. My 80yr old mother was prescibed Fosamax 2 yrs ago and can now hardly eat anything other than soups or liquids because of the damage done to her oesphogaus.Chewing meat is out of the question, think very carefully before taking this drug.

After reading the above comments, I am ready to quit taking Fosamax. About four years ago, and reports of Osetopenia, my doctor put me on the Fosamax. It improved the osteopenia according to the tests, but, I hurt in my whole body and have no energy. Once, thought I was having a heart attack, test proved my heart was good. I asked my doctor if it was my Esaphegus? and he said it would react like a heart attack. So, I asked if the Fosamax could cause it and he told me "No". Also, if I eat rich food on the day I take the Fosamax, later that night, I sometimes burp air and start hurting in my lower chest until I start throwing up. I have never had a problem with eating rich foods. Common sense is telling me to quit taking the Fosamax. I have balance problems and have had three bad falls in the last year, and was thankful that I was taking the Fosamax. What is one to do????????

I started taking Fosamax January 2006. I initially had flu like symptoms lasting 3 days for the first 4 doses of the drug. After 3 months, I noticed my cuticles began to change - became very tender and sore and hardened. After five months of taking the drug, I began to have keratotic papules develop over the distal joints of my fingers, then they spread to the middle joints of the fingers. I have had unexplained rashes on my arm and then developed reddened rash on my eyelids. I went to a dermatologist, he biopsied one of the lesions on my finger joint and he asked me to participate in case rounds at Brown University. I have now been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease - dermatomyolitis. This is serious. I read about this disorder and discovered that it can be induced by drugs. I am not seeking a rheumatologist and have stopped Fosamax.

sorry - above comment should read that I am NOW seeking a rheumtologist consult and stopped taking the Fosamax in November. I am upset that this drug will stay in my bones for 10.5 years. Has anyone had any dermatologic side effects or effects similar to mine?

sorry - above comment should read that I am NOW seeking a rheumtologist consult and stopped taking the Fosamax in November. I am upset that this drug will stay in my bones for 10.5 years. Has anyone had any dermatologic side effects or effects similar to mine?

I am a 69 year old male who has been taking Fosamax for three years. Treatment began after low DEXA readings and family history (father had Paget's Disease). A month ago, I fell from ladder with resulting leg fracture. Surgeon recommended discontinuing Fosamax during healing. Have not experienced the gum and other problems as described in other posts, but I don't plan to resume the Fosamax. Will stick with calcium, magnesium and gluosamine.

I am 51 years old, and was diagnosed thru a DEXA this summer with osteopenia in my left hip, and lumbar region. I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago, and was told this is common in post menapausal women. I was shocked as I am a big dairy consumer, and take a calcium supplement. I started Fosamax, and noticed at first extreme tiredness on the day I took it..Then my knees started aching to the point it would wake me in the night.
In the morning, I started hobbling like my 84 year old mother in law because my feet and knees hurt so bad, I could hardly move in the morning. I began to feel numbness in my right calf and arm. I mentioned this to my doctor, and he said it must be osteoarthritis, as osteopenia doesn't cause pain. I have also noticed chest pains.
My teeth began to collect more tartar, and I am a nut at taking care of them. I mentioned this to my dentist, and when they ask if take any meds, I mentioned Fosamax, and HE encouraged me to read this. I am stopping immediately, and printing out these articles and taking them to my md.

My mom have been taking Fosamax for 8 years and in the last year have been diagnose with low platelets problem and MDS. I was very interested in reading comment #16 from James Barton. I am going to bring that to the doctor's attention. Has anyone else have the same problems with their blood being abnormal or bone marrow?

After reading all the comments on this and other similar websites, my husband has discontinued Fosamax and his symptoms (tiredness, aching joints and extreme pain in his hip which lead to him almost falling over on several occasions) have all disappeared.
May I wish you all a happy Christmas and a very happy, healthy Fosamax free new year!

My 82yo Mom had a bone density test in November and her Dr. put her on Fosamax weekly. After the first dose she noticed some minor pain and tingling..we left for vacation and she took her second dose. She felt a little light headed and more aches and pains, and became fatigued easily, but thought it may be from being active on vacation. Then took her third dose the day before we were returning home. The next day she had a severe nose bleed that lasted for about 30 to 40 minutes. She then came down with a severe sinus infection, hip and foot pain. Her legs have been "jumpy" at night and she is unable to sleep. She has been off Fosamax for a week and a half, and is feeling marginally better. She rarely had sinus infections prior to this, and none has been this severe before. She seems weaker and more tired now than when she had a minor bout with pneumonia 6 months ago.

After eating some rich foods on Christmas day, I spent the whole night having acid reflux problems with severe burning in the throat, chest etc. I had open heart surgery 5 years ago and thought that probably I was having heart problems again.
I had taken the Fosamax in the morning per instructions and also my medication for Protonix. I considered going to the immergency room at the hospital but said prayers and made it through until I decided to go on the internet to see what I could find out about this drug.
All my life I have had problems with taking any meds and upon testing, they say I am not allergic to them but highly sensitive to most. Upon reading these comments I plan to discontinue Fosamax and pray that my esophagus has not been damaged.
I have been taking Fosamax for several months and developed pain in my elbows which doctor attributed to having golf elbow. I'm sorry, but I have been lifting weights for years and never had a problem before taking this drug although doctor claims that it has nothing to do with this pain. Stiffness and pains in other joints have increased also. Instead of after Christmas shopping, I will be spending my days at the doctor's office or hospital proving that the discomfort was due to Fosamax and not my heart etc.

I am 61 years old. I work 40 hours a week and plan to continue doing so until my 66th. birthday. I am in generally excellent health. Recently,I had a bone density test and was advised by my primary care physician to start taking Fosamax. I work in a medical research field and decided to research Fosamax before filling my prescription. Good grief, after reading all of the aforementioned horror stories, I will not be filling my prescription.

My current regimen is this: I walk two miles a day with my dog, take a Woman's 50+ vitamin (1500 mg calcium and Vitamin D combination), 400 mg. of Vitamin E, plus take Juice Plus. I think my regimen is going to benefit me far more than increasing Merck and Company, Inc's (the manufacturer of Fosamax) profit margin.

I'm going to do some research on the clinical trials on the Fosamax drug. I'll report my findings to this site upon completion of my research.


Thanks for this site. A doctor just prescribed Fosamax for my 86 yr old mother-in-law. We have not filled the prescription and aren't going to.

Two days ago she had a major tooth extraction of an infected tooth that ended up breaking off and the dentist had to drill into the bone. She's going to be having quite a bit more dental work done.

I informed the doctor today of all of this and yet he apparently is not aware of the warning to not take this drug especially after extractions!

Thank God and Gates for the internet, knowledge is power and we have to protect ourselves. I always research any prescribed drugs now since they killed my grandmother a couple years ago. Damn doctors, damn drugs.

I've been on Fosamax for only six weeks and already have experienced hip pain that wakes me up at night. That's not what's really bothering me, though. I feel as if I am in a constant state of PMS. Anyone else feel this way after starting Fosamax?

I am 37 years old. As a result of short term steriod use for crohn's disease, I was diagnosed with ostiopenia. I started taking actonel and now am on a low dose of fosomax. I am reading this posts and getting quite worried. The posts I have read involve post menepausal women. Is there anyone out there who is not post menepauseal. I am concerned about the long term effects. I could be on this drug for the next 60 years. And that is a little scary. Also have they done any long term studies, does anyone know?

I am a 29 years old male and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis,an auto-immune disease that effects the joints. I also have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis and was prescribed Fosamax. I have been taking fosamax for about 3 months. The very first day I took the drug, I had bone pain in my right fingers about 12 hours later. It was very severe pain and I will rule out any other cause. It was radiant and it WAS BONE PAIN! I have had pain in my ribs, but recently I am having a tightness pain in my jaw and have been having a headache along with the jaw pain. It feels almost like a toothache, but there is one thing, I HAVE NO TEETH. I will be talking to my rheumatologist about this to see if I could be getting ONJ or TMJ. We'll see.

Recently my 83 year old mom began taking phosomex and arimidex subsequent to diagnosis of breast cancer with possible metastisis to bones. Significant and severe memory issues manifested a few months after beginning arimidex which we have now discontinued, with the apparent result after 5 or 6 weeks of no further memory deteriouation and possible reversal of the problem. Recetly mom was awakend in the early hours of the morning mabe 20 hours after taking her weekly dose of phosamex with extreme pain in her entire right legg. She indicated the bone itself hurt and that it was not position sensitive and not worsened by walking. After some time she thought to take asprin which had the apparent effect of reducing the pain and then stopping it all together after about one hour. (As the pain was stoppoing and greatly reduced it would fluctuate with short bursts of greater pain) It has not recurred, but she has not yet taken her next weekly dose of phosamax. Has anyone had similar experiences of pain in an entire area (in her case pain in the entire legg, upper and lower, that was not possible to localize to one spot) within hours or a day of taking this med? I am interested to learn how much time delay between dosage and the symptoms and if this pain in the entire limb as opposed to one bone or part of a bone is typical of bone pain in general or of phosamax pain in particular. Mom also experienced sudden crown failure with a molar that split in half at a weak spot after being on this drug a short time----but to be fair the tooth was crowned and weakened at least 30 years ago and there could have been other causes for this since decay under the crown would have weakend it reinforcing effect on the weakend underlying tooth.

I am 55 and have been on Fosamax for 1 year due to positive DEXA scan. Besides strong family history of osteoporosis and being menopausal, I have taken Aldactone for the past 3 years for facial hair so that my testosterone level is now low-normal but Aldactone has probably contributed to the osteoporosis. I have had osteoarthritis for several years so can't really say I am any more stiff or achy since starting Fosamax. It seems that I have lost muscle tone and strength just since starting Fosamax even though I continue to workout. Two of my teeth have cracked and chiped in the last 4 months and required refilling which is unusual for me since I have required only 1 other filling in the past 30 years. I have had hair loss on my scalp which my dermatologist says may be an autoimmune disorder. It is growing back in now because of treatment with DNCB. I wonder if the hair loss could have been caused by mercury in the amalgam tooth fillings. I am really careful to get 1500 mg of calcium each day mostly through skim milk so am seriously considering stopping Fosamax if my scan 2 weeks from now is improved.

I have been on foxamax for just three weeks.Taken 3 pills. I couldn't understand after only one week, all my bones hurt and neck went as stiff as a board.
I kept taking them once a week.When I looked it up on internet and saw that I wasn't the only one suffering so bad.I was due to take my forth pill today but no more. I told my doctor, she told me to stop taking them.Which I was doing anyway.
My neck is so stiff, my knees hurt and my back has terrible pains. I simply am in agony. I am 59 years old and was borderline with ost.. I am going to now drinking more milk and taking more Calcium with Vit D. I have always been active and walk alot and have an active job. Which I haven;t been able to go to for 2 weeks. Canno lift anything with the terrible neck pain.
Haven't walked this year yet,and it is 3rd week of January. I walk every evening even in the cold Canadian weather. I am hoping this gets out of my system quickly, as I was one of the lucky ones and only took 3 pills.
God help anyone else who has been on it for longer

Two years ago, when I was 50, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia and was put on Fosamax. I have recently learned that I have osteoarthritis in my spine. Has anyone learned anything further about a possible link between fosamax and osteoarthritis? Has anyone had any tests to determine whether the two may be related?

I had been taking fosamax for approximately 5 years. My mother had osteoperosis and my initial bone density test around the age of 50 indicated that I had osteopenia in my wrist, a pre-cursor to osteoperosis. I started taking fosamax and within a year or so, I started having bone deterioration with my teeth in my upper right and left gums. My teeth have always just been "ok," but this was a new and puzzling occurrence to my dentist. I have always gone to the dentist regularly every 6
months. I had periodontal surgery on my gums twice on the upper right side and once on the upper left side. My regular dentist informed me that he had three other women patients in their early fifties who were also having these same issues. He informed me that the one common factor among all of us was that we all had been taking fosamax for at least a year. I should also say that I had a repeat bone density test after I had been taking fosamx for about 3 years in combination with 2 calcium tablets per day and that my second bone density test showed no change either way from my first test three years earlier. I stopped taking fosamax about three months ago. I want to see if my dental bone structure at the very least stabilizes over the next year. If anyone else has similar dental issues, I'd be very interested in hearing your stories.

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