The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has recently notified healthcare professionals that it is reviewing the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study that suggests that Zithromax (azithromycin) users are at a heightened risk of suffering cardiovascular death.
Zithromax is an antibacterial drug used to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions, including acute bacterial sinusitis, urethritis, genital ulcer disease and some forms of pneumonia. The study found that users of a 5-day course of Zithromax (known popularly as Z-Pak) were at double the risk of developing a fatal heart condition as compared to users of amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin or no drug at all. In March of this year specific warning information was added to the Zithromax drug label relating to potential cardiovascular side effects.
It is important to note that the FDA is not recommending that azithromycin users immediately stop taking the drug. Instead, as in any situation, the FDA is encouraging users to discuss this issue with their doctor and to remain aware of upcoming developments. Moreover, the FDA continues to investigate a connection between Zithromax’s class of drugs and cardiovascular complications.