Common antibiotic Azithromycin carries cardiovascular death: Study
A common antibiotic Azithromycin, usually prescribed in sinus infection and bronchitis, and commonly called a "Z-pack" can be severely hurt your heart, a latest study says this.
According to Vanderbilt researchers, Azithromycin contains 2.5 folds higher risk - in the comparison of amoxicillin (an antibiotic that is considered to be heart safe and is used in similar clinical circumstances as azithromycin) or any other similar antibiotic - to your heart causing cardiovascular death in just first five days of intake.
The research conducted by a team of US scientists comprising Wayne A. Ray, Ph.D., professor of Preventive Medicine, and C. Michael Stein, M.B.Ch.B., the Dan May Chair in Medicine and professor of Pharmacology.
Earlier, it was considered as safe drug before the FDA literature that reports linking azithromycin with serious arrhythmias.
Based on this evidence, the Vanderbilt researchers sought to examine cardiovascular deaths in patients who were taking the antibiotic.
The researchers studied about 3,48,000 patients on azithromycin between 1992 to 2006 and found 47 more deaths per million, compared to those on the antibiotic amoxicillin. The situation was worse in case of heart patients with 245 more cardiovascular deaths per million.
The primary comparison was with amoxicillin, where they found the death ratio quite lower as against deaths from azithromycin.
The researchers emphasized that the decision to prescribe any antibiotic requires careful balancing of both potential benefits and risks. This calculation must consider the severity of the infection, the susceptibility of the organism, the availability of alternative antibiotics and adverse effects.
"We believe this study adds important information on the risk profile for azithromycin," said Ray.
"For patients with elevated cardiovascular risk and infections for which there are alternative antibiotics, the cardiovascular effects of azithromycin may be an important clinical consideration," he added.
The study was published in the May 17 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
--With IANS Inputs--
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