Health & FitFDA: Z-pack antibiotics could lead to fatal heart issues
Certain antibiotics may cause aortic aneurysm, FDA warns
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned on Thursday that the benefits of fluoroquinolone antibiotics do not outweigh the risks — which include aortic aneurysm — for certain patients.
Azithromycin, a commonly-prescribed antibiotic, may trigger a potentially deadly irregular heart rhythm for some patients, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Tuesday. The antibiotic that's sold as Zithromax, Zmax or sometimes referred to as a "Z-Pack" is prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or ear infections.
The FDA is warning the public that the pills can cause abnormal changes in the heart's electrical activity that may lead to a fatal heart rhythm. Not everyone is at risk. Patients with known risk factors such as existing QT interval prolongation, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or those who use certain drugs to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias face the greatest risk.
Fatal air crashes and deaths up in 2018: Watchdog
A total of 556 people died in 15 plane crashes in 2018, significantly more than the previous year, but long-term trends show safety improving, an aviation watchdog reported. The year 2017 was the safest year in aviation history with only 44 people killed in 10 airliner accidents, said the Aviation Safety Network (ASN). Last year was still the third-safest year in aviation history in terms of the number of fatal accidents and the ninth-safest in terms of lives lost. "If the accident rate had remained the same as 10 years ago, there would have been 39 fatal accidents last year," said ASN chief executive Harro Ranter in a statement released Tuesday.
"Health care professionals should consider the risk of fatal heart rhythms with azithromycin when considering treatment options for patients who are already at risk for cardiovascular events," the FDA said in its
The new guidance was prompted by a May 2012 study and another study by the antibiotic's manufacturer, Pfizer, that looked at risks to electrical activity of the heart in azithromycin-takers.
Last May, astudy paid for by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found there would be 47 extra heart-related deaths per one million course of treatment with five days of Zithromax, as compared to 10 days of amoxicillin and other antibiotics. The risks of cardiovascular death associated with levofloxacin (Levaquin) treatment were similar to those associated with azithromycin treatment, according to the FDA.
Millions may be misdiagnosed with penicillin allergy
Most doctors aren’t aware that 90 percent of people diagnosed with a penicillin allergy can actually tolerate the antibiotic.
"People need to recognize that the overall risk is low," Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University health outcomes specialist who was not involved in the study, told the Associated Press last May. He added more research was needed but patients with heart disease "should probably be steered away" from Zithromax for now.
The FDA also issued a statement last May following the study saying the agency was aware of the findings, and it would review the results and communicate any new information.
Sales of Zithromax, one of the U.S.' top-selling antibiotics, totaled $464 million in 2011 according to health care information company IMS Health, the AP reported.
Study Links Heartburn Drugs to Fatal Illnesses.
A new study suggests that such drugs as Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, and Protonix put those who take them at risk for premature death.
FDA Sounds Heart Alarm on Popular Antibiotic
http://www.dailyrx.com/azithromycin-z-pak-may-cause-deadly-heart-rhythms http://www.rxwiki.com/zithromax A certain antibiotic may cause deadly heart rhythms ...
FDA warns of fatal "Z-Pack" side effect
The FDA is warning the public about a potentially fatal side effect of the popular antibiotic azithromycin, commonly referred to as "Z-Pack." As Dr. Jon LaPook ...