Zithromax Side Effects Injury Lawsuits. In 2001, the Zithromax label was updated to include warnings about its potential to cause liver damage. Zithromax is one of a class of antibiotics called macrolides. An antibiotic of this class is eliminated from the body through the liver. This, coupled with the fact that Zithromax is a very strong antibiotic, make the potential for liver damage and liver failure very high. Knowledge of Zithromax Liver Failure Held From Public Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zithromax, first began receiving reports of liver damage associated with it as early as 1996, just a year after it was approved for use in children. Many of these reports said that the liver damage linked to Zithromax was very severe, and at times fatal. Yet it wasn’t until 2000 that Pfizer warned the public about this serious side effect, after the Food & Drug Administration forced it to do so. In 2001, the label warnings on Zithromax were updated to say that abnormal liver function, jaundice, necrosis, hepatic failure and death had been reported in patients taking the drug.
Zithromax Liver Failure Can be Fatal
The liver damage and associated with Zithromax is very serious. It cannot be cured, although the symptoms can be managed if patients stop taking Zithromax soon enough. In extreme cases, however, the damage done by Zithromax to the liver can cause it to fail, and the only recourse when this occurs is for the patient to undergo a liver transplant. Because Zithromax liver damage and the resulting possibility of liver failure serious, anyone taking Zithromax needs to be aware of the symptoms of liver damage and failure. They are:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin);
- Abdominal pain;
- Severe fatigue;
- Dark urine;
- Elevated liver enzyme levels.
Anyone taking Zithromax who experiences even one of these symptoms should stop using the drug and seek medical attention immediately and contact one of our Zithromax liver failure lawsuit attorneys.
Zithromax Eye Infections
On September 28, 2006, researchers announced that Zithromax (generic: azithromycin) manufactured by Pfizer Inc. might quadruple the risk of being re-infected with a potentially blinding eye infection that the drug is intended to treat. Zithromax is a widely popular prescribed antibiotic. Zithromax at first combated the original outbreak of the infection, called trachoma. Individuals taking Zithromax were more likely to be re-infected than those treated with surgery alone, said a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
According to the study, Zithromax appeared to blunt the immune system’s capability to develop natural resistance by decreasing exposure to the bacteria. “This is like the law of unintended consequences,” said Deborah Dean, co-author of the paper and a researcher at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute who is working on a vaccine for Trachoma. Zithromax, also available in generic forms, “wipes out the infection and your immune system has barely had time to get going.”
An estimated 80 million people, and nearly 8 million have been blinded or lost some vision, according to the International Trachoma Initiative. Trachoma is the second-most common cause of blindness. At least one other study has shown that Zithromax may do more harm than good by hampering the body’s ability to fight off future infections, Dean said. Trachoma infects the inside of the eyelid, and scaring builds up over time that makes the eyelashes turn inward. Eventually the eyelashes start scratching the surface of the eye, allowing bacteria to get into the eye and leading to blindness.
A study back in 2005, uncovered that sexually transmitted Chlamydia infections initially dropped after patients used Zithromax, then increased because of susceptibility to re-infection. Pfizer infectious disease researcher Charles Knirsch skeptical of the paper’s conclusion related to immunity because the researchers didn’t provide evidence to support that finding.