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Merck responds to reports of jaw disorder in patients taking Fosamax


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Reports of improper healing and infection of the jaw in patients taking an osteoporosis drug have prompted a response from the drug’s manufacturer.

Merck & Co. issued a response Wednesday to reports of patients taking Fosamax (alendronate sodium) developing osteonecrosis, which often follows tooth extraction.

The company said the condition, also known as ONJ, is not well-understood and may occur for a number of reasons, such as cancer and certain cancer therapies and poor oral hygiene. It also said clinical trials in which more than 17,000 patients took Fosamax did not turn up reports of ONJ.

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