The latest Zithromax study estimates the approximately 85 out of 1,000,000 patients will die from cardiac related problems while taking the drug.
That number appears small – and it is small. Yet, the New England Journal of Medicine Zithromax study is still important news for many patients.
Why 85 out 1,000,000 is Significant
There are several reasons why the results of this study are important and are being widely reported.
First, Zithromax is a popular prescription. Many patients in the U.S. request that their doctor write a prescription for Zithromax to treat conditions as common as sinusitis. Patients are looking for a quick fix for their respiratory ailments and many doctors are willing to oblige by giving them a five day Zithromax prescription rather than having them wait out the illness or use a 10 day antibiotic such as Amoxicillin.
Second, the risk of suffering sudden cardiac death is significant when compared to other options for treating the same conditions. For example, the risk of sudden cardiac death from Amoxicillin was found to be 32 out of 1,000,000 and the risk of sudden cardiac death without antibiotic treatment was found to be 30 out of 1,000,000. Thus, there may be safer alternatives than Zithromax that are available.
Third, patients deserve to know the risk and to talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits of each treatment option. The results of the study may have changed the risk profile for Zithromax and doctors may make different prescription decisions based on the new information.
Finally, 85 out of 1,000,000 is a small number unless you are one of the 85 or the loved one of someone who died as a result of a prescription drug. Then, the statistics are irrelevant.