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Zometa Injury and Side Effects

Zometa Attorneys

As the human species evolves and medical science continues to advance, new diseases are discovered, and in reaction to this reality, new medications and treatments are formulated in an effort to stem the tide of this growth of health problems. Even though many of these medical advances present significant potential progress for patients who suffer from a variety of different maladies, these advances also oftentimes present a degree of risk. The question for all of them is whether these risks outweigh the benefits.

In the case of the pharmaceutical drug Zometa, that question is becoming more and more difficult to answer, as this drug hit the market with a high degree of promise and enjoyed a period of positive results, reports have begun to surface that link the use of Zometa to the development of serious side effects.

If you or someone you love has been injured or suffered as a result of using this medication, you need to contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation and to explore your legal rights and options. In the meantime, below you’ll find a brief overview of Zometa and the issues in which it’s currently embroiled

Zometa – General Information

Zometa is a drug that was formulated and is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company known as Novartis Pharmaceutical, which is a true giant in the industry. Novartis markets and distributes several well-known drugs, and Zometa was for a time responsible for the generation of millions of dollars in revenue. Zometa was originally approved for release onto the marketplace by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001.

Zometa’s Medical Use

Zometa is a medication with several uses, but perhaps is most prominently used in cancer patients. However, the medication is also administered to those who suffer from such conditions as Paget’s Disease and osteoporosis, particularly in women, in whom the development of osteoporosis is more likely in a statistical sense.

Basically, Zometa is a brand name for zoledronic acid, and is a member of a group of medications known as bisphosphonates. Zometa works by getting into the patient’s system and inhibiting the release of calcium from the patient’s bones. This is important because it’s quite common for those who suffer from malignant tumors to have extremely high levels of calcium, which is a natural attempt by the body to fight against the tumor.

Zometa’s Problems

News of potential problems with the use of Zometa began to surface in 2005, four years after it was approved for use by the FDA. These reports ultimately received national media coverage, and there were several names used for the main condition to which the use of Zometa was linked, including ‘jaw death’ and ‘osteonecrosis.’

The issue was discovered by way of reports generated by patients who had undergone a seemingly unrelated procedure – oral surgery. Basically, these patients had what should have been very basic procedures done and instead of seeing their jaw bones heal properly, these jaw bones instead never healed. Ultimately, the jaw bones ‘died’ in that they no longer functioned properly and basically hung to the face as almost an unnecessary attachment.

Clearly, this was an extremely painful condition, and ultimately the lack of circulation to the dead areas leads to the bone to fall off of the body or to collapse in place. Perhaps the most daunting aspect of this side effect is that it’s basically painless, and there are no known symptoms of this condition that would alert a person to a problem.

However, over time, a person who suffers from jaw death will begin to notice some discoloration, and eventually pain will arise when a person uses the jaw bone, which clearly happens almost repeatedly throughout the day when a person speaks or eats. How the condition is treated will depend upon when it was diagnosed.

If this condition is caught in the early stages, a surgical procedure known as a core decompression is a possible solution. If the condition is not caught until it’s in its later stages, however, the patient could require total replacement surgery, which when it’s done to the jaw bone is extremely painful and time-consuming in terms of recovery.

Reaction to Zometa’s Problems

As of 2008, Zometa had not yet been the subject of a recall. However, the FDA did publish a public health warning on its Web site warning patients who had used Zometa in the past to avoid oral surgery for a period of time, and to complete a full medical evaluation even after a significant amount of time has passed before moving ahead with any procedure of this type.

Hiring a Zometa Lawyer

Given the notice that this Zometa issue has generated, it’s clear that you do have rights if you’ve been injured as a result of using this medication. Contact Privett Law today to schedule an initial consultation if this situation sounds familiar. You need to make an educated decision as to whether or not you should proceed with a claim, and your consultation with Privett Law will provide you with that information. Contact the firm today.