Bis-phossy Jaw and Fosamax

“Bis-phossy” jaw may not be the most elegant or cleverest of terms, but it is a significant one for anyone over 50. Bone degeneration is an inevitable fact of life, and one combats it with the use of medications such as bisphosphonate drug such as Fosamax (alendronate), manufactured by Merck Co. Bisphosphonate drugs are considered to be well-tolerated by most of the population, which is why it is widely used. However, there are some studies that suggest that treatment with Fosamax or other bisphosphonate drug increases the risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), also known as bis-phossy jaw.

Phossy jaw is a shortcut for phosphoprus necrosis of the jaw, a disease common to workers I the 19th century who were occupationally exposed to white phosphorus. Bis-phossy jaw can happen to anyone receiving bisphosphonate treatment, and it is not caused by white phosphorus, but it still refers to dead jaw syndrome. An article on the National Injury Law Center website describes it as the failure of the bone to heal (remodel) after dental treatment such as extractions. This can leave the bone exposed and increase the risk of fracture or infection.

Bisphosphonates such as alendronate helps to strengthen bone by reducing the action of osteoclasts, which is involved in the removal or resorption of old bone resulting from remodeling. This is important for women after menopause, because this is the time that bone density decreases, leading to osteoporosis. Men with osteoporosis and people suffering from bone pain due to Paget’s disease, breast cancer and myeloma will also benefit from Fosamax.

There are restrictions to the use of Fosamax. It is contraindicated for people who:

  • Have disorders of the esophagus
  • Find it hard to swallow
  • Cannot stand or sit upright for 30 minutes
  • Are hypocalcemic (low calcium)
  • Have stomach or intestinal problems

Despite these precautions, it is still possible to succumb to bis-phossy jaw, and the condition can only be treated through surgery. If you have bis-phossy jaw, you may be eligible to get compensation for the injury you sustained from taking Fosamax. Consult with a products liability lawyer in your area for an assessment.

Food Recalls at Taylor Farms

A recent outbreak of a food-borne pathogen has brought the focus on one of the largest vegetable producers in the US, although investigations turned up no evidence to confirm the company’s involvement in spreading the outbreak.

Taylor Farms voluntarily recalled their products from the US market when it was linked to the outbreak of cyclosporiasis in 22 states. It has resumed operations once it was found that the company followed standards of food safety and that it was unlikely that it was the source of the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. Taylor Farms fresh produce can be found in many major US groceries and supplies greens to several restaurant chains including Red Lobster and Olive Garden. No lawsuit has been filed, and the actual source of the contamination may well be environmental.

Because of the interest generated by the cyclosporiasis outbreak, Taylor Farms continue to come under close scrutiny. Food safety experts consider that three food recalls a year since 2011 was a bit excessive; once a year is considered standard. Company management points out that because of the size of the company, the frequency of the recalls is comparatively low. It was further explained that all of the recalls except for the last were preemptive moves when potential contamination is suspected or when an allergen may not have been declared in the list of ingredients.