On May 17, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a statement announcing that it is investigating Zithromax side effects in light of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found a link between the popular antibiotic, Zithromax, commonly referred to as a Z-Pak, Z-Pack, or Zmax, and sudden cardiovascular death. In conducting the study, researchers from Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine reviewed the medical records of approximately 540,000 Medicaid patients ages 30 to 74 in Tennessee from 1992 to 2006. Researchers found that patients who took Zithromax were at an increased risk for sudden death compared to patients taking other antibiotics such as amoxicillin. Individuals who are especially prone to Z-Pak side effects include those who have:

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

Heart disease patients can develop abnormal heart rhythms, which can be fatal.

If you or a loved one experienced sudden death or heart arrhythmia resulting in hospitalization following treatment with Zithromax, contact our firm today for a free Zithromax lawsuit case review.

FDA Warning On Zithromax Side Effects

Zithromax (azithromycin) belongs to a class of antibacterial drugs called macrolides, which have been linked to cardiovascular events, including QT interval prolongation. In 2011, the FDA reviewed all macrolides. As a result of that investigation, the Zmax drug label was revised to include abnormal heart rhythms as one of the side effects of Zithromax. In light of the recent azithromycin study, the FDA is continuing its review. Although the FDA stated that patients taking Zithromax should not discontinue use without talking to their doctors, the agency recommended that healthcare providers be aware of potential side effects of azithromycin (Zithromax), such as QT interval prolongation and heart arrhythmias when prescribing antibacterial drugs. Finally, the FDA encouraged healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or azithromycin side effects to the agency’s MedWatch Safety Information and Averse Event Reporting Program.

Background Information On Zithromax

Zithromax, known generically as azithromycin, is an antibiotic commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections, including bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats and earaches. FDA-approved indications for azithromycin include:

  • Acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic pulmonary disease
  • Acute bacterial sinusitis
  • Community-acquired pneumonia
  • Pharyngitis/tonsillitis
  • Uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections
  • Urethritis and cervicitis
  • Genital ulcer disease

Zithromax is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc. The allure of the Z-Pack is its convenience – patients only need to take the medication for five days – most antibiotics must be taken for 10 days or longer. Last year, doctors wrote 55.3 million prescriptions for azithromycin in the United States, and sales were $464.6 million. Given the popularity of the drug, several media outlets are reporting on the Zithromax study, including NBC Nightly News and ABC World News. Medical editors from both NBC and ABC News commentated on the risk of sudden cardiac death in patients with heart problems taking the drug.

Contact A Zithromax Lawyer Today

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 Zithromax 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 May 18, 2012 by