Zithromax Lawsuits for Heart Problems
Disturbing news has been announced about serious heart problems – some of which could become fatal – linked to the popular antibiotic azithromycin, which is frequently sold as Zithromax, Zmax or in a Z-Pak.
Our experienced, aggressive network of attorneys is now investigating lawsuit claims from patients who may have suffered abnormal heart rhythms as a result of their use of this medication. We are investigating reports of serious side effects, hospitalizations and fatalities.
If you, or a loved one, has suffered a heart arrhythmia, been hospitalized or incurred medical expenses as a result of the use of Zithromax you may be eligible to seek compensation.
Please contact our legal team as soon as possible for a free consultation about the merits of your claim. Among the compensation to which you may be entitled are medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, hospital bills, permanent disability and other expenses.
FDA WARNING ZITHROMAX
In its warning, the FDA alerted the public and health care professionals that azithromycin (Zithromax or Zmax) can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm.
"Patients at particular risk for developing this condition include those with known risk factors such as existing QT interval prolongation, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or use of certain drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.
"FDA has issued a Drug Safety Communication today as a result of our review of a study by medical researchers as well as another study by a manufacturer of the drug that assessed the potential for azithromycin to cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart."
The FDA said that it issued the warning after its staff reviewed a study on the drug published last May in the New England Journal of Medicine, in addition to another study by a manufacturer of the antibiotic.
The FDA said that the warning is "not the result of adverse event reports related to azithromycin," meaning that the action was not just taken in response to problems reported to the agency from consumers and health care professionals.
Zithromax sales in 2011 were over $450 million. It is one of the most widely prescribed antibiotics because treatments involving this medication require fewer doses over a shorter period than many other antibiotics.
CNN reported that one of the studies was conducted by Vanderbilt University researchers compiled from the records of thousands of Tennessee Medicaid patients over a period of 14 years. They found a 2.5 times higher risk of death from heart disease in the first five days of using a Z-Pak when compared to another common antibiotic or no antibiotics at all.
ARRHYTHMIA CONCERNS OUTLINED
The drug may cause changes in the electrical activity of the heart, according to the FDA.
People with underlying heart problems seem to be especially vulnerable to developing this condition, CNN reported from an interview with Wayne Ray, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt and the study's lead researcher.
"The FDA said patients who have low blood levels of potassium or magnesium are at a higher risk," according to the report. "Patients who have a slower than normal heart rate or are already taking drugs to treat arrhythmias should also be cautious.
The FDA instructed health care professionals to be cautious about prescribing the antibiotic to patients known to have this condition or who have certain risk factors.
Who is most at risk of suffering these life-threatening heart problems from Zithromax? Here are those listed by the FDA:
- People with low levels of potassium or magnesium.
- People who have a slower-than-normal heart rate.
- People who take certain drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.
- People with torsades de pointes - a specific, rare heart rhythm abnormality.
In its warning the FDA also said that macrolides, other drugs in the same class as azithromycin, also may put patients at risk of suffering QT prolongation, as do non-macrolide antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones, and doctors need to consider all of these risks when choosing an antibiotic.The risk of heart problems in connection with the use of Zithromax has also caused the drug’s manufacturer, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, to update the drug's labels with additional information about the risk of QT interval prolongation and torsades de pointes.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO FILE A ZITHROMAX LAWSUIT?
If you or a loved one has suffered serious health problems as a result of treatment with the antibiotic Zithromax (Z-Pak) you may be eligible to seek compensation for medical and other costs that have been incurred.
Please take advantage of our experienced legal team’s free consultation in order to evaluate what legal options you may have to file such a Zithromax lawsuit.
Our lawyers are aggressively monitoring the developments following the FDA’s announcement but you should be aware that may be legal time limits involved in filing a claim or a lawsuit.
In order to preserve all of the legal options that may be available to you to seek compensation please contact us as soon as possible about your Zithromax claim.