Patients with underlying heart disease should not use antibiotics commonly prescribed for bronchitis and sinus infections as they may dramatically increase the risk of death from heart problems, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Use of the antibiotic azithromycin (sold under the brand name Zithromax) was linked with nearly a threefold increase in the risk of dying from heart problems over the five-day treatment, compared with not taking antibiotics, in the study of more than a million young and middle-age adults living in Denmark.
Other antibiotics, including penicillin and erythromycin, have similar increased risks, leading researchers to believe health risks due to bacterial infection, rather than the drugs themselves, increases the risk of death from heart problems.
People with known problems in their hearts' electrical systems (such as arrhythmias), those with structural changes to the heart or heart damage, and those with underlying heart disease should be cautious when using the drug, according to researchers.
For the general population, the results of the study are reassuring in that they suggest azithromycin "can be prescribed without concern about an increased risk of death from cardiovascular cause," according to the researchers. In 2011, about 40 million people in the U.S. received prescriptions for the antibiotic. Read the full details here:
People with known heart problems must be careful and learn about the risk of dying from azithromycin before taking a Z-Pack or any other antibiotic.
If you or anyone in your family has suffered serious side effects or damages from a medication error you should seek legal investigation immediately. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.