Antibiotics linked with rare but deadly heart disease

FDA investigating antibiotic linked to heart risk

Disturbing news about a common antibiotic. You've probably taken it. Now a new study says those Z-packs that treat common infections could have dangerous side effects.

It's a popular antibiotic used to treat bronchitis and other common bacterial infections in just a few days. But a new study has found that Azithromycin also known as Zithromax or the Z Pack can increase the chance of sudden death in people who are at risk of heart disease.

The study from Vanderbilt University looked at over a half million Medicaid patients in Tennessee from 1992 to 2006. Researchers found that patients on Zithromax who were prone to heart problems were two-and-a-half times more likely to die from a cardiovascular causes while taking the medication than patients on another antibiotic, Amoxicillin.

The lead author of the study said he believes doctors prescribe Zithromax over Amoxicillin because of its easier regimen.

Last year doctors wrote 55.3 million prescriptions for the drug. It's one of the top selling antibiotics in the nation, with sales last year totaling $464 million dollars.

Some doctors urged caution over this new study  and said patients taking Zithromax should not panic.

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