Zithromax (Azithromycin) is among the most popular antibiotics prescribed in the United States; however, the drug has been tied to a variety of serious side effects, including those involving the kidneys.
Zithromax, manufactured by Pfizer Inc., received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in 1992 and is prescribed to treat an array of bacterial infections. Zithromax, which works differently than traditional antibiotics, inhibits the reproductive abilities of the bacterial cells and contains the infection site. Zithromax also requires a shorter prescription period than traditional antibiotics.
Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys can no longer filtrate waste from the blood, and are no longer able to regulate the levels of water in the body. Zithromax kidney side effects may include:
- Bleeding from the nose or gums
- Clay colored stools
- Dark urine
- Stomach pain
- Watery or bloody diarrhea
Some patients allege that Zithromax led to chronic kidney damage. Some of the kidney injuries and complications patients are reporting include the following, all of which may result in complete kidney failure and, if not treated early, may be fatal without dialysis and are then only fully treatable with a kidney transplant:
- Blood urea nitrogen
- Interstitial nephritis (kidney inflammation)—a typical prediction of kidney failure if not treated; nephritis may cause urination patterns to change and will lead to nausea and fatigue
- High levels of serum creatinine
A recent study revealed numerous cases of acute kidney failure in patients who were over 60-years-old, taking aspirin, and being treated with Zithromax. These patients had been taking Zithromax for under one month and had been HIV positive when they experienced Zithromax kidney side effects. The group involved 11,000 Zithromax patients. Of these, 252 (2.35 percent) developed kidney failure.