San Diego, CA (PRWEB) May 24, 2013
Resource4thePeople is informing consumers today of the latest update involving allegations that the use of the popular antibiotics Zithromax and Zmax SR (azithromycin) can allegedly cause potentially fatal irregular heart rhythms.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company reported on May 17, 2013* that Health Canada has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in warning that Zithromax can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm.
The medications are most frequently used for bronchitis, pneumonia, chest infections, urinary tract and other common infections.
The CBC said that the advisory from Health Canada says a "small absolute increase in the risk of cardiovascular deaths was observed in patients taking azithromycin as compared to those who took no antibiotics and those who took amoxicillin in a recent study."
Resource4thePeople also is announcing it will continue to provide consumers access to a national network of attorneys offering free legal consultations to patients who suffered alleged serious heart problems as a result of their use of Zithromax.
“The recent health warning issued in Canada that follows concerns issued by the FDA about Zithromax and the allegations of serious side effects has increased the number of recent inquiries about legal rights,” said Resource4thePeople. “Therefore, we will continue to provide consumers with consultations informing them about their legal options to seek compensation for alleged side effects from the use of these medications.”
The increase in consumer inquiries stems from concerns about side effects from the antibiotics issued May 17, 2012 by the Food and Drug Administration** and a respected medical journal*** about whether patients who use the medications are at higher risk of suffering cardiac problems, said Resource4thePeople.
“We have now added additional resources to investigate claims of health problems caused by the use of the antibiotics sold as Zithromax, the Z-Pak and azithromycin,” said Resource4thePeople.
“We will be able to provide the legal options that may be available for consumers to seek compensation for such expenses as medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of wages and other expenses that may have been incurred.”
Resource4thePeople said a large number of the legal inquiries focused on the issuance by the FDA of a Safety Information Report** “on risk of cardiovascular death” in connection with the use of Zithromax.
In that report, FDA officials said that they have been made aware of a study*** published in the New England Journal of Medicine in which medical researchers found a higher percentage of cardiovascular deaths among patients treated with azithromycin (Zithromax) than with other antibiotics or no drugs.
The FDA announced that it is reviewing the findings of this study and said it will inform health care professionals and consumers about the results of this review after its completion.
The FDA also passed on this information about the review and updated warnings on the medication’s labels about health risks:
“Azithromycin belongs to a class of antibacterial drugs called macrolides, which have been associated with cardiovascular effects; specifically, prolongation of the QT interval. In 2011, FDA reviewed macrolide drug labeling information related to QT interval prolongation and TdP.
“The WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section of the Zmax drug label (azithromycin extended release for oral suspension) was revised in March 2012 to include new information regarding risk for QT interval prolongation, which appears to be low.
“The drug labels for clarithromycin and erythromycin also contain information about QT interval prolongation in the WARNINGS section. FDA is in the process of updating risk information in the drug labels for additional macrolide antibacterial drugs.”
The FDA also recommended that patients who are taking azithromycin should not stop taking their medicine without talking to their health care professional and that physicians “should be aware of the potential for QT interval prolongation and heart arrhythmias when prescribing or administering macrolides.”
“In its Safety Information Report the FDA also encouraged patients and health care professionals to report adverse events or side effects caused by the use of these medications to the agency,” said Resource4thePeople.
“While the FDA is fulfilling its role of monitoring the safety of drugs such as Zithromax we are responding to reports from patients who are seeking information about what their legal rights may be and we are committed to providing that information on a case-by-case basis.”
The New England Journal of Medicine study*** included research compiled from information accumulated from about 350,000 patients who were treated with azithromycin over a 15-year period and concluded that these patients were one and a half times more likely to suffer cardiovascular sudden death than patients treated with other antibiotics.
Antibiotics are among the most prescribed medications and azithromycin is most commonly chosen by doctors to treat a variety of bacterial infections.
One of the factors that made Zithromax so popular was the fact that it could be taken as a five-day treatment while most other antibiotics are prescribed to be taken over a 10-day treatment plan.
“The fact that there were so many individuals included in this massive research study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine study and that the FDA is now reviewing this material has increased concerns by many consumers who are telling us that they were treated with this medication,” said Resource4thePeople.