Antibiotics: Azithromycin associated with risk of potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm


The Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) warned the public that Azithromycin ( Zithromax or Zmax ) can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm. Patients at particular risk for developing this condition include those with known risk factors such as existing QT interval prolongation, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or use of certain drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.

FDA has issued a Drug Safety Communication as a result of a review of a study by medical researchers as well as another study by a manufacturer of the drug that assessed the potential for Azithromycin to cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart.

FDA previously released a Statement on May 17, 2012, about a study that compared the risks of cardiovascular death in patients treated with the antibacterial drugs Azithromycin, Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin ( Cipro ), and Levofloxacin ( Levaquin ), or no antibacterial drug.
The study reported an increase in cardiovascular deaths, and in the risk of death from any cause, in persons treated with a 5-day course of Azithromycin ( Zithromax ) compared to persons treated with Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin, or no drug. The risks of cardiovascular death associated with Levofloxacin treatment were similar to those associated with Azithromycin treatment.

FDA-approved indications for Azithromycin include: acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute bacterial sinusitis, community-acquired pneumonia, pharyngitis / tonsillitis, uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections, urethritis and cervicitis, genital ulcer disease.

Recommendation

Health care professionals should consider the risk of torsades de pointes and fatal heart rhythms with Azithromycin when considering treatment options for patients who are already at risk for cardiovascular events. FDA notes that the potential risk of QT prolongation with Azithromycin should be placed in appropriate context when choosing an antibacterial drug. Alternative drugs in the macrolide class, or non-macrolides such as the fluoroquinolones, also have the potential for QT prolongation or other significant side effects that should be considered when choosing an antibacterial drug. ( Xagena )

Source: FDA, 2013

XagenaMedicine_2013



Indietro

Altri articoli

Despite limited and conflicting data on the use of Hydroxychloroquine in patients with Covid-19, the FDA ( U.S. Food and...


The aim of a study was to determine the efficacy of 1 g Azithromycin ( Zithromax, Zmax ) and alternative...


A potentially life-threatening condition called drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms ( DRESS ) has been reported in patients...


Lower respiratory tract infection ( LRTI ) is the third leading cause of death worldwide and the first leading cause...


The current standard of care treatment for Chlamydia sometimes fails to eradicate the disease and the culprit may be in...


Chronic bacterial prostatitis ( CBP ) is frequently diagnosed in men of fertile age, and is characterized by a disabling...


Azithromycin ( Zithromax, Zmax ) use is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes among patients at...


In a commentary published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal ( CMAJ ), Abby Lippman, an epidemiologist at McGill University...


Oral sex may be a risk factor for nongonococcal urethritis ( NGU ), one of the most common sexually transmitted...