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Common Antibiotic Linked To Rare Heart Death

(RTTNews) – The commonly prescribed antibiotic azithromycin, also known as Z-Pack, may marginally increase the risk of death in patients with heart disease, a study published in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine said.

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The study, performed by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, observed heart therapy patients taking azithromycin over a period of five days and compared findings with those who took no antibiotics. Those who took the drug had an increased risk of cardiovascular death while patients who took amoxicillin, another popular antibiotic, had no increase in the risk of death during this period.

"Relative to amoxicillin, azithromycin was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death," the study's authors noted. "Patients who took azithromycin had an estimated 47 additional cardiovascular deaths per 1 million 5-day courses of therapy."

In response to the findings, the FDA said it was "reviewing the results from this study and will communicate any new information that results from the FDA review."

by RTT Staff Writer

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