Z-Pak side effects, it is alleged, have been linked to an increased risk of serious heart problems and sudden death. Our law firm is working with some of the more experienced Zithromax lawyers in the country, who are filing lawsuits, and there is no legal fee unless you receive a settlement or award. Feel free to call us toll-free anytime or submit a contact form online.
Zithromax (azithromycin), otherwise known as Z-Pak or Zmax, is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections like ear infections, sinusitis, strep throat, bronchitis, and pneumonia. In 1994, the FDA approved the medicine for sale on the market by Pfizer. The drug quickly became a “blockbuster” and it stills maintains solid sales earning $453 million in 2011 and $435 million in 2012 (i). In recent years, there have been allegations that the drug can increase the risk of side effects, such as heart problems, sudden death, repeat eye infections, liver damage, and heart problems.
Zithromax and Liver Failure
Zmax is filtered out of the body by the liver. The risk of liver damage is increased because the medicine is particularly powerful. Pfizer received reports of liver failure soon after the drug’s release but it was not until 2000 that the company warned the public of this risk. In 2001, the FDA required the company to update the warning label on Z-Pak about possible jaundice as well as abnormal liver function, damage, or failure.
Zithromax and Heart Problems
In May 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study about the use of antibiotics and the increased risk of heart problems, heart attacks, cardiac arrest, and sudden cardiac death. In this comprehensive 14-year study, researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered that for every million courses of treatment with Zmax there were 85 deaths. This is a serious concern especially when compared with another popular antibiotic which only had 32 deaths per million courses of treatment. Additionally, there were only 30 deaths among people not taking any antibiotics. This means that Z-Pak more than doubles the risk of sudden cardiac death in patients, regardless of risk factors for heart problems. However, those with pre-existing heart disease are at the highest risk for sudden heart complications (ii).
According to the study from Vanderbilt University, there are:
- 85 deaths for every 1 million Zithromax courses of treatment
- 32 deaths for every 1 million amoxicillin courses of treatment
- 30 deaths for every 1 million courses of non-antibiotic treatment
The FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication promptly in May 2012 and has recently updated it in March 2013. The Administration warned that Zmax “can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm.” This risk is especially present among patients with QT interval prolongation, slower heart rates, low potassium levels, or taking other medicines that affect heart rate. The Administration has even required the drug’s label to be updated to reflect this new information (iii). These injuries have caused patients to talk to Zithromax lawyers and even threaten class action lawsuits. If you have experienced any of the following side effects, then you may want to talk to an attorney.
- Heart problems
- Heart arrhythmia
- Heart attack
- QT rhythms
- Torsades De Pointes
- Cardiac problems
- Cardiac arrest
- Cardiac failure
Pfizer has faced many legal problems due to its manufacturing and marketing of Zmax. In June 2012, the FDA warned Pfizer that a promotional brochure for the medicine did not comply with federal rules and regulations. Specifically, the brochure was misleading because it minimized and omitted information about the drug’s risks while making unsubstantiated superiority claims. Additionally, the brochure implied that Z-Pak was suitable to treat conditions that it had not been approved to treat.
Someone who has been injured by this drug may have a valid Zithromax lawsuit. For example, manufacturers have a duty to design a reasonably safe medicine as well as provide adequate warnings. If you or a loved one has suffered heart or cardiac problems, then you may not have been adequately warned about the dangers of Zmax.
PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE DISCONTINUING USE OF ZITHROMAX (ZMAX, Z-PAK, OR AZITHROMYCIN) OR ANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION
Do You Need a Zithromax Lawyer for Your Liver or Heart Injuries?
If you or a loved one has suffered liver damage or heart problems while taking Zmax, then you should talk to an attorney about your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. We are now working with some of the more experienced Z-Pak lawyers, who are filing lawsuits, and there is no legal fee unless you receive a settlement or award.
- (i) Pfizer 2012 Annual Report.
- (ii) The New England Journal of Medicine, May 17, 2012.
- (iii) FDA Drug Safety Communication, March 12, 2013.