Deadly heart rhythms linked to azithromycin "Z-Pak" antibiotics - KCTV5

Deadly heart rhythms linked to azithromycin "Z-Pak" antibiotics

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Azithromycin, most commonly known by the brand-name Zithromax and Z-Pak, is widely used to bring relief to patients with ear infections, bronchitis or pneumonia. (CNN) Azithromycin, most commonly known by the brand-name Zithromax and Z-Pak, is widely used to bring relief to patients with ear infections, bronchitis or pneumonia. (CNN)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Lots of people are coming down with nasty bugs lately, and for many, an antibiotic is the only way to beat it.

But doctors are warning that one widely prescribed antibiotic for some people could actually be lethal.

Azithromycin, most commonly known by the brand-name Zithromax and Z-Pak, is widely used to bring relief to patients with ear infections, bronchitis or pneumonia. It works well and it works fast, but there are some patients who should steer clear.

Doctors say though rare, in some people with certain heart conditions, a Z-Pak could actually be lethal.

People with certain heart conditions, electrolyte imbalance and those who are taking certain medications are at higher risk for sudden cardiac death.

The bottom line is if you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor.

"I think it's important, as a patient, just to mention any conditions you have whenever you get any medication and important for your provider to understand what other medications you're taking, so it's reviewed with the person that's providing the medication - the physician - as well as the pharmacist to make sure it's a safe combination of medications," cardiologist Dr Seth Sheldon said.

It is important to note the majority of people will do fine on a Z-Pak or similar drug, but with so many people sick right now and taking antibiotics, it's best to ask your doctor if you have a heart condition.

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