Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Z-Pak May Cause Heart Attacks!

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2013— Patients who take the antibiotic azithromycin, commonly known as Zithromax or Z-Pak, and have certain risk-factors may face life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.
Patients with the preexisting conditions bradycardia, which is an abnormally slow heartbeat, QT prolongation, a condition that raises the risk for a specific type of irregular heartbeat, or with low blood levels of magnesium or potassium are at risk for the life-threatening arrhythmias, according to the FDA.
The FDA urged doctors to consider the arrythmia risk before prescribing the common antibiotic, and modified the language used to label the drug.
The warning comes after review of data published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May. Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that patients with the risk factors cited in the FDA warning who took azithromycin were at an increased risk of death.
“The study reported an increase in cardiovascular deaths, and in the risk of death from any cause, in persons treated with a 5-day course of azithromycin compared to persons treated with amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, or no drug,” the FDA said in a statement.

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