A recent article published by DailyRx.com, a prominent pharmaceutical commentary website, has commented on FDA warnings that Zithromax Z-Pak can cause fatal heart rhythms, and suggests that potential users of the drug be very cautious.

The author of the article, Dr. Sarah Samaan, writes:

“Patients at particular risk for developing a potentially deadly irregular heart rhythm from azithromycin include those with known risk factors such as 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.”

Read the whole article about the danger of Zithromax Z-Pak here.

Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration has required that the warning label for the popular antibiotic drug Zithromax be updated to include information regarding the drug’s likelihood to cause cardiovascular death.  Some studies have shown that the drug raises the risk for cardiovascular death by a factor of 2.5, compared with other antibiotic drugs, such as amoxicillin.  Read the full report concerning Zithromax and heart failure by following the link above.

Citing a warning by the FDA and a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that reported the Zithromax Z-Pak antibiotic raises the risk for sudden cardiovascular death by a factor of 2.5 over other antibiotics, ABC news reports that the US federal government has required the labels of Zithromax Z-Pak be changed to include new warnings.

Read the full story about the danger of Zithromax Z-Pak here, where ABC News has also provided an explanatory video clip.

An article published in the February, 2013 edition of The American Journal of the Medical Sciences by Dr. John C. Winton et al. describes the case of a man, aged 47 years, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest after azithromycin (Zithromax Z-Pak) was added to other medications he was using.[1]  This article, showing the danger of Zithromax Z-Pak was titled “Sudden Cardiac Arrest in a Patient on Chronic Methadone After the Addition of Azithromycin” and can be found by following the link above.

The patient described in the Winton et al. (2013) piece had been using methadone “as part of an ongoing opioid dependency treatment and … was prescribed azithromycin for an upper respiratory tract infection 3 days before his presentation”[2] to hospital because of “unresponsiveness”[3] to voice or touch, following a cardiac arrest.[4]

After a myriad of tests, including breathing rate, blood pressure, fluid in the lungs, reflexes, neurological examinations, kidney and liver examinations, and chest radiography (among others) were all normal,[5] doctors were unable to immediately discern the cause of this man’s unresponsiveness and tentatively diagnosed “toxic metabolic encephalopathy”[6] based on the patient’s present addiction to prescription pain medication.

“Extended toxicology screening, however, was negative for all substances other than opiates, and his presenting symptoms were not consistent with opiate overdose.  Magnetic resonance imaging of his brain was normal, and all cultures (blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid) were negative.  Echocardiogram revealed normal ventricular function and no structural abnormalities.”[7]

Fortunately, “His mental status gradually improved without any therapy other than a few days of empiric antibiotics and supportive care.”[8]

Based on the tendency for methadone to increase risk for heart attack, combined with knowledge that azithromycin may pose the same risk, doctors concluded that the heart attack experienced by this man was a result of those two drugs.  Unfortunately, however, many people who do not concurrently use methadone while using azithromycin may still experience sudden cardiac arrest due to the fact that the manufacturer of azithromycin has time and again failed to warn its customers of risks found to be associated with its product.

If you or a loved one used azithromycin (Zithromax Z-Pak) and experienced cardiac arrest, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for injuries sustained through a Zithromax Z-Pak lawsuit.  For a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Zithromax Z-Pak lawyers either by phone at (855) 452-5529 or by e-mail at justinian@dangerousdrugs.us.

We have the experience, resources, and skills required to go up against even the largest pharmaceutical companies and win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.


[1] Winton, JC et al (2013) “Sudden Cardiac Arrest in a Patient on Chronic Methadone After the Addition of Azithromycin” The American Journal of The Medical Sciences Vol. 345, No. 2; pp. 160-162

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

Recently, an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Wayne A. Ray et al. titled “Azithromycin and the Risk of Cardiovascular Death” reveals the danger of a widely-used antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax Z-Pak), demonstrating that the use of this drug dramatically increases the risk of cardiovascular death.[1]

This article studied thousands of patients taking a variety of antibiotic medications and compared the relative risk for cardiovascular death among the drugs.[2]  The study also evaluated the risk for cardiovascular death in patients using azithromycin compared to the risk in persons who used no antibiotics.[3]  In all, the number of patients who used azithromycin studied was 347,795, and the number of people studied who used no antibiotics was 1,391,180.[4]  The number of patients who used other antibiotics was 1,348,672 (amoxicillin), 264,626 (ciprofloxacin), and 193,906 (levofloxacin).[5]

Results showed that “During 5 days of therapy, patients taking azithromycin, as compared with those who took no antibiotics, had an increased risk of cardiovascular death”[6] by a factor of 2.88.[7]  That is to say that persons who used Zithromax Z-Pak were nearly three times as likely to suffer cardiovascular death as persons who had not used antibiotics.[8]

Patients who used amoxicillin were no more likely to suffer cardiovascular death than patients who did not use antibiotics, and it was also confirmed by this study that patients who used Zithromax Z-Pak were about 2.5 times as likely to suffer cardiovascular death as were patients who used amoxicillin.[9]

The question we are now forced to answer is “Is the risk for cardiovascular death posed by use of Zithromax Z-Pak worth the antibiotic benefit of the drug?”  The authors of this article quite clearly seem to respond in the negative.

Zithromax Z-Pak was also found to be about as dangerous as levofloxacin use with respect to risk of cardiovascular death, but much more dangerous than use of ciprofloxacin.[10]

Because the manufacturer of Zithromax Z-Pak has failed to adequately warn its users of the risks associated with its product, the FDA has required that the labels of Zithromax Z-Pak be altered, and a number of Zithromax Z-Pak lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used Zithromax Z-Pak and experienced cardiovascular death, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for the injuries suffered through no fault of your own.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, do not hesitate to contact our team of Zithromax Z-Pak lawyers.

You may reach our offices by phone at (855) 452-5529 or by e-mail at justinian@dangerousdrugs.us.  Call today and see how we can help.


[1] Ray, WA et al (2012) “Azithromycin and the Risk of Cardiovascular Death” The New England Journal of Medicine Vol. 366, No. 20; pp. 1881-1890

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.