SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to the public and healthcare providers on the risk of fatal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, caused by the antibiotic Zithromax. Zithromax is a macrolide antibiotic that is taken over the course of 5 days for a variety of bacterial infections. It is also known as Z-Pack, Zmax, and Azithromycin.

Both medical researchers and the drug manufacturer have conducted research and found that Zithromax increases the risk of fatal heart rhythms. By some unknown mechanism, it damages the electrical system of the heart that affects the ventricles, the lower chambers of the heart. They are not able to beat properly, which leads to the fatal heart rhythms. They have compared the risk of fatal heart rhythms with that of other antibiotics and found that only one other antibiotic carried the same level of risk.

The risk of fatal heart rhythms caused by Zithromax is increased in individuals who currently have heart problems. The FDA is advising health care providers to consider that before prescribing Zithromax.

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