Colon cancer, irregular heartbeat, esophageal, and unusual bone fractures are among the adverse side effects linked to oral bisphosphonates, a drug family that includes popular osteoporosis medicines such as Fosamax.
Now Canadian researchers say serious inflammatory eye disease should join the problems highlighted on the package insert for oral bisphosphonates, according to The Daily Mail.
In a study of first-time users of bisphosphonates, the researchers found that women had a 45 percent increased risk of developing scleritis and uveitis, which can lead to eye pain, redness, blurred vision – and sometimes even blindness.
Researchers from the Child and Family Research Institute and the University of British Colombia examined 934,147 people in British Columbia who visited an ophthalmologist between 2000 and 2007. Of the patients, 10,827 used bisphosphonates and 923,320 did not take the drugs.
Thousands of women take bisphosphonates to combat osteoporosis or bone thinning. Some users of bisphosphonates have allegedly suffered such severe side effects from the drugs that they have sued the drugmakers. For example, numerous dangerous drug lawsuits were filed against Merck & Co., the maker of Fosamax (alendronate), by patients claiming the drug damaged their jawbones.