A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows there is an increase of cardiovascular death in patients taking azithromycin (Zithromax). The risks of cardiovascular death associated with levofloxacin (Levaquin) treatment were similar to those associated with azithromycin treatment.
Azithromycin belongs to a class of antibacterial drugs called macrolides, which have been associated with cardiovascular effects; specifically, prolongation of the QT interval. Prolongation of the QT interval can lead to torsades de pointes (TdP), an abnormal heart rhythm, which can be fatal. Azithromycin was the only macrolide examined in the published study; the study did not address other macrolide antibacterial drugs, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) and erythromycin, regarding the potential for cardiovascular death.
In 2011, FDA reviewed macrolide drug labeling information related to QT interval prolongation and TdP. The WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section of the Zmax drug label (azithromycin extended release for oral suspension) was revised in March 2012 to include new information regarding risk for QT interval prolongation, which appears to be low. The drug labels for clarithromycin and erythromycin also contain information about QT interval prolongation in the WARNINGS section. FDA is in the process of updating risk information in the drug labels for additional macrolide antibacterial drugs.
FDA-approved indications for azithromycin include:
- Acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic pulmonary disease
- Acute bacterial sinusitis
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections
- Urethritis and cervicitis
- Genital ulcer disease
Did you know that chiropractic and nutrition response testing are a better approach to many of the conditions that a person may need a macrolide drug? Some common conditions that we see in the office are otitis media (infection of the middle ear), tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis. Why put your heart at risk when trying to clear up a bacterial infection? Call the office today at 507-333-5388 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Lisa discuss your options.