FDA Says Zithromax Can Cause Fatal Irregular Heart Rhythm - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

FDA Says Zithromax Can Cause Fatal Irregular Heart Rhythm

(Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration warned on Tuesday that the antibiotic azithromycin, sold as Zithromax, can cause a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm in some patients.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine last May compared the risk of cardiovascular death from different antibacterial drugs and found that the drug, which is made by Pfizer Inc and is also sold by generic drugmakers, had a higher rate of death.

In its warning, the FDA said the drug can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal heart rhythm known as prolonged QT interval, in which the timing of the heart's contractions becomes irregular.

The FDA said doctors should use caution when giving the popular antibiotic to patients known to have this condition or who have certain risk factors. Those who may be at risk include people with low levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or people who take certain drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. The drug could also cause problems in people with torsades de pointes, a specific, rare heart rhythm abnormality.

However, the FDA noted that other drugs in the same class as azithromycin known as macrolides also have the potential for causing QT prolongation, as do non-macrolide antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones, and doctors need to consider all of these risks when choosing an antibiotic.

Pfizer officials were not immediately available for comment.

Shares of Pfizer were down 0.5 percent at $28.10 on Tuesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer in New York and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Matthew Lewis)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane Police say missing 10-year-old boy found safe

    Spokane Police say missing 10-year-old boy found safe

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 2:20 AM EDT2017-05-23 06:20:13 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane Police say 10-year-old Jeremy Clough has been found and is safe as of 11:18 p.m. Monday night. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane Police say 10-year-old Jeremy Clough has been found and is safe as of 11:18 p.m. Monday night. 

    >>
  • Suspect arrested in connection with deadly Manchester bombing

    Suspect arrested in connection with deadly Manchester bombing

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 7:22 AM EDT2017-05-23 11:22:32 GMT

    MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Greater Manchester Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the apparent suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the city. Police say the man was arrested in south Manchester Tuesday, a day after the explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers. They did not provide details.

    >>

    MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Greater Manchester Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the apparent suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the city. Police say the man was arrested in south Manchester Tuesday, a day after the explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers. They did not provide details.

    >>
  • Hit-and-run collision caught on dashcam video

    Hit-and-run collision caught on dashcam video

    Monday, May 22 2017 10:53 PM EDT2017-05-23 02:53:39 GMT

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A nice family drive turns into a dangerous encounter after a driver rams into their car and takes off. Now the father of two young children wants that driver to take responsibility for his actions. The incident happened on Friday around 5 p.m. off of Highway 2 and Day Mount Spokane Road.

    >>

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A nice family drive turns into a dangerous encounter after a driver rams into their car and takes off. Now the father of two young children wants that driver to take responsibility for his actions. The incident happened on Friday around 5 p.m. off of Highway 2 and Day Mount Spokane Road.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Monday, May 22nd

    Mad Minute stories from Monday, May 22nd

    Monday, May 22 2017 5:38 PM EDT2017-05-22 21:38:31 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Monday, May 22nd.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Monday, May 22nd.

    >>
  • Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 19th

    Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 19th

    Friday, May 19 2017 8:09 PM EDT2017-05-20 00:09:07 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 19th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 19th.

    >>
  • Official says man tried to breach cockpit door on American Airlines flight

    Official says man tried to breach cockpit door on American Airlines flight

    Friday, May 19 2017 8:25 PM EDT2017-05-20 00:25:30 GMT

    HONOLULU (AP) - The Latest on a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu (all times local): 1 p.m. A law enforcement official says a man who caused a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu attempted to access the cockpit of the plane. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation. The officia...

    >>

    HONOLULU (AP) - The Latest on a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu (all times local): 1 p.m. A law enforcement official says a man who caused a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu attempted to access the cockpit of the plane. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation. The officia...

    >>