FDA warns on arrhythmia risk with 'Z-Packs'

March 12, 2013 by Brad Perriello

The FDA warns of the risk of potentially lethal arrhythmias in certain patients who take the antibiotic drug azithromycin, commonly known as "Z-Packs."

Azithromycin

The FDA warned consumers today about a potentially lethal risk of deadly irregular heartbeats for some patients who take the commonly prescribed antibiotic drug azithromycin, sold under the brand names Zithromax and Zmax – giving rise to the drug's moniker, "Z-Pack."

Patients with "known risk factors such as existing QT interval prolongation, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or use of certain drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms," according to a warning posted on the FDA's website.

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