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Heart Disease: Z-Pak Linked to Heart Death

Antibiotic may affect those with a history of heart disease

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Heart disease sufferers, take note: Recent studies have shown that the antibotic azithromycin — which is also known as Z-Pak — has been linked to a few rare cases of heart death. For every million azithromycin treatments, there have only been an estimated 47 deaths related to the prescription drug. Although the risk is relatively small, it’s something to think about should heart disease run in your family.

“It’s a small risk. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that all antibiotics have serious risks. For most patients, this is a relatively small risk,” ” study leader Wayne A. Ray, PhD told WebMD.

Not surprisingly, there’s another side to the story. According to Dr. Jay Varkey, MD, director of the antibiotic management program at Emory University, the study isn’t entirely conclusive. “In and of itself, this study does not warrant a dramatic amount of alarm. It calls for more studies to see whether the increased death rate was truly due to azithromycin or to the underlying disease being treated.” Fair enough.

The study, which followed patients on medicare who took the drug between 1992 and 2006, showed that those who took a five-day run of antibiotic were more likely to die from heart death than those who did not. When compared to those who had taken like-minded medications such as amoxicillin, patients were twice as likely to have severe complications.

Regardless of which report you choose to side with, Ray’s study of azithromycin’s effects on those with heart problems has given doctors reason to think twice before prescribing the drug to those with a history of the disease.

Heart Disease: Z-Pak Linked to Heart Death
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  • S

    Chemically, Z-Pack or Azithromycin, is an antibiotic in the azide group, a chemical compound that contains the group N3, derived from hydrazoic acid (HN3, nitrogen mustard gas), containing the azido group combined with an element or radical. Hydrazoic acid is extremely volatile and highly toxic. The compound acts as a non-cumulative poison. The azido group blocks oxygen-dependent cell respiration in the mitochondria. The azide group is a known inhibitor of Cytochrome C oxidase (or Complex IV) of the respiratory electron-transfer chain. The mitochondria, our biological energy power plants, are found in every cell of the body, but heavily concentrated in the heart. These aza (azote = nitrogen), azido, azide (containing the ‒N3 group and derived from hydrazoic acid, HN3), nitrogen action profile substances are toxic to cellular mitochondria, whose crucial energy production is essential to life.

  • Shirley

    I had a heart attack in March after taking 2 perscriptions of Zithromax for walking pneumonia. No history of heart problems or pneumonia. This explains a lot to me.

  • http://www.newsinferno.com/pharmaceuticals/zithromax/study-linking-z-pak-to-increased-death-risk-being-reviewed-by-fda/37824 carol

    The overall risk may not be huge, but this can make a serious difference for people who suffer from heart disease.

  • Karla

    I have taken Z-Pac multiple times since being diagnosed and treated with beta blockers for my high blood pressure. Nothing to report, no problems, Z Pac has always cleared up the bacterial infection for me.

  • Lesley Vetter

    I just dont know what to do now. Guess I’ll call the cardiology MD before I take this course of antibiotics while I sit here with a very bad sinus infection.

  • Ingrid

    I had a very scary cardiac episode while driving a week after taking z pak for a mild skin infection 6 years ago
    I had never had any heart problems( 30′s + active) prior to taking it.
    Since then I have had several same rapid rhythm episodes and I’m less confident doing active sports or driving. It’s a terrible feeling that also makes me dizzy. I believe their is a connection and that I was hurt by the antibiotics.