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The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study Tennessee Based study conducted by Wayne A. Ray, Ph.D and several other scientific researchers suggesting that the antibiotic Zithromax (Azithromycin) believed to be free of cardiotixic effects, may actually increase an individual’s risk of cardiovascular death.

Zithromax, sometimes called Z-pak or Zmax is a common antibiotic used to treat bronchitis; pneumonia; sexually transmitted diseases ; and infections of the ears, lungs, skin, and throat. Zithromax is in a class of antibiotics calledmacrolide antibiotics which stop the growth of bacteria. Azithromycin will not work for viral infections like colds or flu but instead for certain bacterial infections where stopping the growth of bacteria is necessary.

The Zithromax study suggests that Azithromycin may cause arrhythmia-related adverse effects for people who with otherwise normal baseline QT Intervals.

The study focused on deceased cohorts who were patients of Tennessee’s Medicaid program. Researched looked at the medical and death records of patients deceased patients prescribed Zithromax from 1992 until 2006. Doctors usually prescribe Zithromax for a five day or a ten day period. During the shorter, five day treatment, patients showed a significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular death with a hazard ration of 2.49:1.

This rate is compared to the amount of patients who did not take any antibiotic.

The FDA has already received at least 20 reports of life threatening arrhythmia from Zithromax

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