Quoted from http://www.npr.org/2011/02/28/134064950/rare-fractures-linked-to-drugs-for-weak-bones
Rare Fractures Linked To Drugs For Weak Bones
by Richard Knox
February 28, 2011
Listen to the Story
Dr. Jennifer Schneider was on a New York City subway when the train jolted and she shifted her weight onto her right leg. Suddenly, her thighbone snapped and she collapsed to the floor.
"I could hear it and I could feel it," Schneider says. "I knew it was broken, instantly. I could not understand how this possibly could have happened from standing on a train."
Curiously, the break was not the usual kind of hip fracture associated with older bones. Those involve the ball-shaped head of the femur, or the narrow neck just below the head.
Schneider's fracture occurred further down, just at the part of the femur that's usually the strongest.
Schneider was one of the first women to suffer from one of these unusual fractures among patients who've been taking osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates for years. Or at least her case was one of the first reported in a medical journal, back in early 2006.
Since then, orthopedic surgeons and bone specialists have been seeing more of these unusual fractures among long-term users of bisphosphonate drugs such as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast.