Navigation Links
Study Links Antibiotic to Slight Rise in Heart Patients' Death Risk

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- The widely prescribed antibiotic azithromycin may slightly raise the risk of death in patients with heart disease, a new study suggests.

Several antibiotics have been tied to an increased risk of sudden death among heart patients, and recent reports have suggested azithromycin (Zithromax) might be part of that group, said the researchers, from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

"For patients with elevated cardiovascular risk, the cardiovascular effects of azithromycin may be an important clinical consideration," said study author Wayne Ray, a professor of preventive medicine at the school. "All antibiotics have risks and benefits, which must be considered in the prescribing decision."

When patients and their doctors consider an antibiotic, they should weigh the heart risks of azithromycin against the severity of the infection and the effectiveness of alternative antibiotics, Ray said.

"We found that amoxicillin, often used for similar indications as azithromycin, conferred no cardiovascular risk," he noted.

For the study, published in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Ray's team collected data on nearly 348,000 Medicaid patients taking azithromycin, as well as people taking other antibiotics.

The sample size included more than 1.3 million patients taking amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Trimox, Wymox), more than 264,000 people taking ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and nearly 194,000 patients taking levofloxacin (Levaquin). Another 1.3 million people not taking antibiotics were also included in the study.

Over a five-day period, people taking azithromycin had a slightly increased risk of sudden cardiac death, compared with those not taking any antibiotics. Patients taking amoxicillin had no increase in death risk, the study authors said.

The researchers calculated the absolute risk at 47 cardiovascular deaths for every 1 million prescriptions for azithromycin. Those at highest risk were patients with the most serious cardiovascular disease.

The risk of cardiovascular death was significantly higher with azithromycin than with ciprofloxacin but did not differ significantly from deaths among those taking levofloxacin, the researchers noted.

While the study found an association between the use of azithromycin and potential heart problems, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center and co-director of the UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program, said that "certain antibiotics, such as erythromycin, have been demonstrated to increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmias [an irregular heartbeat] and sudden death."

Azithromycin has generally been considered not to increase the risk of arrhythmias, he added.

Although the new study revealed a slightly increased risk for cardiovascular death among heart patients taking azithromycin, an earlier rigorous trial found no risk, Fonarow noted.

"Further studies are needed to determine whether the findings from this observational analysis can be confirmed or not," he said.

More information

For more on azithromycin, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Wayne Ray, Ph.D., professor, preventive medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville; Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, medicine, and director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, co-director, UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program, Los Angeles; May 17, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are ... the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in ... Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the American ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency ... named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. ... Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on E ... goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not ... as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas ... Brasil as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... of Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... The vast majority of dialysis patients currently ... are usually 3 times a week, with treatment times ... time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can ... patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis ... centers for some duration of time. Residents ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June 23, 2016 ... waters, but it continues to present great opportunities to ... companies for today: Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON ... Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ), and ... more about these stocks and receive your complimentary trade ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: