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Zithromax Heart Side Effects Lawsuits

zithromax-lawsuits-free-brochure-banner-170x250Research shows the antibiotic known generically as azithromycin and sold under the brand names Zithromax, Zmax, and Z-Pak might cause fatal heart-related side effects. In fact, studies show that patients who take Zithromax are considerably more likely than non-antibiotic patients and patients on other antibiotics to die from heart-related injuries and other causes.

What Is Zithromax? When Is It Prescribed?

Zithromax is the brand name for the drug azithromycin. The Croatian pharmaceutical company Pliva first discovered it in the early 1980s, and later it licensed the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc. to sell Zithromax in the United States and elsewhere. Zithromax is indicated to treat bacterial infections including:

  • chronic pulmonary disease
  • sinusitis
  • community-acquired pneumonia
  • pharyngitis and tonsillitis
  • uncomplicated skin infections
  • urethritis and cervicitis
  • genital ulcer disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zithromax in July 1996, and doctors prescribe it in either oral tablets or oral suspensions. Azithromycin is one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States, with 48.5 million prescriptions sold in 2010, totaling $912.2 million in revenue.

A member of the “azalide” subclass of “macrolide” antibiotics, Zithromax works by interfering with certain bacteria’s protein creation processes. By doing this, Zithromax slows bacteria growth, which allows the body’s natural defenses to defeat them.

Zithromax Might Cause Fatal Heart-Related Side Effects

On May 17, 2012, the FDA released a statement regarding Zithromax cardiovascular side effects. Citing research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in May 2012, the agency claimed it would review the results and release additional instructions.

The NEJM study compared large numbers of people who suffered bacterial infections and used azithromycin (347,795), amoxicillin (1,348,672), ciprofloxacin (Cipro) (264,626), levofloxacin (Levaquin) (193,906), or no antibiotics (1,391,180) to treat the conditions. The researchers found that during five days of therapy, the Zithromax users were 2.88 times more likely than non-antibiotic patients to die from heart-related side effects. Against amoxicillin, Zithromax users were 2.49 times more likely to die of cardiovascular side effects and 2.02 times more likely to die from other causes. The researchers calculated that compared to amoxicillin, Zithromax use corresponded to 47 heart-related deaths per million treatment courses. The risk of Zithromax death was comparable to that of Levaquin.

In its statement, the FDA characterized the increased risk as “small,” and it noted that the drug label for Zmax, the Zithromax extended oral suspension product, changed in March 2012 to include a QT interval prolongation entry in its “Warnings and Precautions” section.

Zithromax QT Interval Prolongation Symptoms

One Zithromax cardiovascular side effect the FDA is concerned about in particular is called “QT interval prolongation.” The QT interval is a segment of the human heartbeat as defined in terms of electrical pulses. QT interval prolongation can indicate a type of irregular heartbeat called “Torsades de Pointes,” a potentially fatal condition. As a type of ventricular tachycardia (accelerated heartbeat), Torsades de Pointes’ symptoms include:

  • palpitations
  • fainting
  • ventricular fibrillation (the uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the heart’s ventricles)
  • cardiac arrest
  • sudden death

On March 12, 2013, the FDA announced it had concluded its review of the NEJM study and issued a drug safety communication stating that it largely agreed with the researchers’ findings. Although the agency found some  flaws in with the methodology used in the NEJM study, it determined that healthy patients who use the antibiotics faced a 1 in 111,000 risk of experiencing a cardiac-related side effect, but patients with known heart problems faced a 1 in 4,100 risk of suffering a heart-related problem. In response, the FDA updated the Zithromax drug label by adding that the drug was known to prolong patients’ QT intervals.

RLG’s Lawyers Will Make Things Easier

The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a Zithromax lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.

If you have taken Zithromax and believe it harmed you, contact RLG today.

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rlg Previous Comments

  1. Guest
    on October 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    My autistic son, Chris had a real bad sinus infection. This was in June of 2009. His Dr. wrote him a script for Z- PAC..(Zithromax). The Dr. Told me to watch him for about 3-4 days if he didn't get any better, well he seemed to get worse. I let him go outside, Chris was 20 years old. He loved to swing and play in the backyard. We have a pool, Chris taught himself how to swim sort of like a Dolphin... Chris was an AMAZING young MAN, although, I still saw him as my baby. I had to do everything for Chris. Well here comes the bad day.. On June the 10th 2009 Chris was outside playing, around lunch time. I went outside and gave him his first dose of Z-PAC 2 pills at once, I always had to mix it up in pudding to get him to take meds. He was on Seizure meds also. That day was hot, we live in Alabama, Chris was in and out of the pool. He came in several times to eat and get something to drink. He seemed real thirsty that day, but it was HOT.. The last time I saw my baby was around 4:45pm. I was making Tea.. He came in and downed some blue Gatorade. I remember telling him, "Wow, you love that MOMMA'S gonna have to keep you stocked up this summer." Never dreaming that would be the last time I would ever see him, I had lost my husband just 2 years earlier. Well I finished the tea, I was going to take him a cup.. I couldn't find him, so I went to the front, he was not there either. Not like Chris, so I started to worry a bit, then as I was standing by the pool, you see I am legally blind, I noticed it was Chris...in the deep end, how did he swim so low?? Then it sank in he was not moving. Oh my god, that was my love of my life he needed me, I needed him.. We were as one for 20 years I dove in and saw the most peaceful look on his face eyes closed, I cannot go in my back yard.. His cords he carried were about a foot from him, I grabbed him up, my boyfriend had already called 911. We tried and tried..we lost him and my heart that day. But, I know it was the meds z pac. The autopsy showed he had a enlarged heart. Never before had he had any sign of this and we had been to many drs. They ruled out seizure, they said drowning. No way that boy could swim across a lake, he had a reaction to a MMR shot, so whatever was in that probably was in this also. I fought for Chris and he was born normal, he got the MMR shot and bam I got a different child, one that was lost..in his own world, but I fought and won the case, the vag had to pay him.. I did all the time looking into lot numbers and case files but it was all worth it first case in Alabama.

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