SILVER SPRING, Md. — Only a few weeks after the deadly virus began to spread, doctors say that the Zika bacteria is already immune to Zithromax.

Researchers also expressed concern that the popular antibiotic may also be impotent against the next new virus, whatever it may be. Already, the World Health Organization said that new viruses, like Zika, are “spreading explosively” and justifiably creating a great deal of anxiety. Currently, the only known Zika treatment is intravenous therapy at a hospital. Dr. Prabha Fernandes, the CEO of Cempra, said his company has filed a new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for an antibiotic that can kill drug-resistant pneumonia. Dr. Fernandes expressed hope that Solithromycin will be approved next year.

Zika is transmitted by mosquitos and has been linked to serious birth defects.


This powerful antibiotic is a macrolide, so it prevents bacteria from growing and multiplying and gives the body a chance to fight the infection on its own. Zithromax came onto the market in the early 1990s with considerable fanfare. Since it does not break down as quickly, there are fewer doses required, but that chemical composition also means a higher risk of side-effects.

During trials, Zithromax patients experienced side-effects at a much higher than normal rate. But as there effects were generally moderate, like diarrhea, dizziness, and chest pain, the Food and Drug Administration was not overly concerned. Then, in 2012, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that Zithromax substantially elevated the risk of an adverse cardiological episode. In fact, there were 245 deaths among patients in high-risk categories, as opposed to only none among low-risk patients.

The next year, the FDA warned of previously unknown Zithromax side-effects and strongly encouraged doctors to prescribe an alternative antibiotic, if at all possible.

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Our dangerous drug attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed while taking Zithromax. Lawsuits have been filed against the drug makers by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the dangerous drug. You may be entitled to a settlement.

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