The antibiotic Zithromax, (azithromycin), commonly known as “Z-Pack,” has been linked to increase the risk for deadly heart problems in users, according to a Vanderbilt University study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Zithromax is the “go-to” cure for sinus and bronchial infections, because of its convenient five-day treatment course and easy-to-use packaging, with each pill labeled by day, and because of its quick symptom relief. It can be taken with or without food and has no immediate side effects, making it the popular choice amongst reputable doctors and patients alike. Zithromax is one of the top-selling antibiotics in New York and nationwide, with sales totaling $464 million in 2011.

Unfortunately for those prone to frequent sinus or throat infections, there may be a risky correlation between the popular prescription fix and the onset of heart problems that include sudden death. 540,000 patients were observed from 1992 to 2006, with 29 heart related deaths found in those who took Zithromax. If these results are consistent, it would amount to 47 extra heart-related deaths, per 1 million users.

The risk is low but it is not one that patients can be willing to take, especially those with heart conditions. Doctors are being encouraged to prescribe amoxicillin instead, which is a ten day course of treatment, proven to be slower yet safer, or other antibiotics.

Drug manufacturers, such as Zithromax’s Pfizer Inc., have a public responsibility to ensure the safety of products marketed for public consumption. Medical professionals and pharmaceutical distributers share the responsibility of distributing products to the public safely.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious illness due to defective drugs, the product manufacturer or pharmaceutical company may be held liable for negligent manufacturing. Contact our experienced product liability attorneys if you have suffered medical harm caused by dangerous medication.

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