According to Bloomberg, the US Food and Drug Administration said recently that the combination of Pfizer Inc.'s Zyvox antibiotic and antidepressants such as Effexor can be potentially fatal.
Zyvox, which is used to treat certain types of drug-resistant bacteria as well as skin infections, can potentially cause a toxic reaction when combined with antidepressants like Effexor, Cymbalta, Paxil and Wellbutrin, according to the federal agency.
The toxic reaction can, in turn, lead to an excess of chemicals in the brain, and the FDA said that some deaths related to this chemical buildup have been reported to its adverse event database, according to the news source.
Still, Kristen Neese, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, told the news source that the pharmaceutical company has not yet pinpointed any new risks related to the interactions between Zyvox and antidepressants.
"In an ongoing commitment to ensure patient safety, Pfizer continually monitors all relevant safety information including information pertaining to the concomitant use of Zyvox and serotonergic antidepressant medications," Neese said.
Just days after the FDA warned about the risk of combining Zyvox with antidepressants like Effexor, researchers from the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, Massachusetts, reported that Effexor and other similar medications could raise the risk of nursing home falls.
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The study, which was published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, found that with more than one-third of nursing home residents in the country taking antidepressants, such patients need to be more closely monitored if starting to take the drugs or increasing their dosage.
Previously, antidepressants like Effexor were linked to birth defects such as developmental delays in children, while conditions such as neural tube defects, cleft lip, cleft palate and infant omphalocele have also reportedly been associated with such drugs.
Other, more common side effects of Effexor can include drowsiness, dizziness, stomach pain and dry mouth, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.