On May 17, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced that it was launching an investigation into Zithromax adverse events in light of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found a link between the widely prescribed antibiotic and cardiac events. Following that announcement, Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer, appears to have initiated its own review of existing reports of cardiovascular events associated with Zithromax (azithromycin).

According to one of the company’s websites geared toward healthcare professionals, as of “May 21, 2012, a computerized search of the medical literature has identified several articles that discuss reports of cardiovascular events with azithromycin.”  The Pfizer website references several Zithromax heart studies and provides detailed summaries of seven articles on Zithromax adverse events.  In addition to analyzing the studies, the website contains tables of case reports of cardiovascular adverse events in azithromycin-treated patients.  The sixteen page document concludes with the following statement, “A search of our postmarketing safety surveillance database for Zithromax revealed that we have received spontaneous reports of cardiovascular adverse events since the market introduction of Zithromax.”  The company, however, still maintains that “a causal relationship between azithromycin and these cases has not been established.”

Zithromax Heart Problems

Similar to the findings identified in the New England Journal of Medicine study, Pfizer’s internal review of existing medical literature on Zithromax discusses the relationship between Zithromax and heart problems, including a risk of death in patients with cardiovascular disease.  Pfizer identified prolonged cardiac repolarization and QT interval, which increases the risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia and torsades de pointes (TdP) as potential Zithromax side effects.  Given these risks, Pfizer advises medical professional “that it would be prudent to avoid use” in certain patient populations and notes that elderly patients may be more susceptible to certain of these Zithromax side effects.

In light of these recent findings connecting Zithromax to cardiac issues, the lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are actively investigating and monitoring any related developments.  Individuals who are especially prone to Zithromax adverse events include those who have:

  • heart failure;
  • diabetes;
  • sustained a previous heart attack;
  • undergone bypass surgery; or
  • have cardiac stents.

Have You Experienced A Zithromax Adverse Event?

If you or a loved one experienced sudden death or heart arrhythmia resulting in hospitalization following treatment with Zithromax, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.  The attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP can help you seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other injuries.  We have extensive litigation experience and have recovered billions of dollars for our clients.  In addition to being staunch advocates for your claim, we provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.

Published June 21, 2012 by