According to the Charleston Gazette (5/13/13), the new warning labels to be added to Zithromax prescribing information relate to an exhaustive study released by Vanderbilt University last month. Researchers analyzed the health records and data of some 540,000 Tennessee Medicaid patients. Vanderbilt included data from millions of prescriptions for several antibiotics taken by the patients involved over a 14-year period from 1992 through 2006.
The researchers concluded there was the potential for 47 extra heart-related deaths per one million courses of treatment with Zithromax (azithromycin), compared with a comparable antibiotic, amoxicillin.
The study concluded that the highest risks were typically found in patients with existing heart problems.
Zithromax, according to the report, is a popular antibiotic and a top seller for manufacturer Pfizer, even though it’s reported to be more expensive than competing medications. At the same time, however, azithromycin appears to be more robust and effective, and reportedly can be taken for fewer days.
The pending label change in both Canada and the US has pushed Zithromax back into a spotlight that has previously revealed other Zithromax reactions, such as Zithromax Stevens Johnson Syndrome. The latter is a horrific condition usually triggered by an allergic reaction to medication.
Katie Niemeyer is one such survivor of SJS, having been made to struggle with a severe case of SJS at the age of 16. Now in her early 40’s, Niemeyer survived a condition originally misdiagnosed as strep throat but quickly escalated to full-blown Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Her body was ravaged with painful blisters before her skin begin sloughing away. Niemeyer was treated for three weeks in the burn unit of Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.
While Niemeyer’s story did not identify which medication the pretty marathon runner and entrepreneur may have reacted to, Zithromax has been previously linked to Zithromax SJS. And Zithromax would have been fairly new to the market at the time, having been licensed for sale in the US by Pfizer in 1986.
READ MORE ZITHROMAX SJS LEGAL NEWS
Azithromycin (Zithromax) was discovered by a team of researchers in Yugoslavia in 1980 and patented a year later.
Meanwhile, today (June 19) is a year to the day following issuance of a warning letter to Pfizer from the FDA with regard to the marketing of Zmax (Zithromax), and the appearance that Pfizer was downplaying the risk associated with Zithromax reactions such as Zithromax Stevens Johnson Syndrome.
The concern related to Zithromax surrounds its popularity in combatting common maladies such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chest infections, urinary tract and other common infections. Many a Zithromax plaintiff has launched a Zithromax lawsuit claiming they had no idea that Zithromax could bring them to the brink of death with Stevens Johnson Syndrome.