Zithromax (azithromycin), also known as Z-Pak, is a popular antibiotic drug manufactured by Pfizer that has been prescribed to over 40 million patients since it was launched in 1991.
The medication is used to treat a host of bacterial infections. Zithromax quickly became a popular choice for physicians because it can be taken in a fewer amount of days than most other antibiotics. However, in 2012, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that Zithromax was shown to create an increased risk of cardiovascular conditions as opposed to competing antibiotic treatments.
Specifically, it was found that it could potentially cause fatal irregular heart rhythms. This risk was found to be even further increased for people with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions such as arrhythmia.
Mounting concerns after the study was published led to an FDA investigation. In May 2013, the FDA announced a revision in Zithromax’s label to include a warning for increased risk of QT interval prolongation, the medical term for the lengthening of the heart’s electrical cycle. Pfizer, the makers of Z-Pak, are responsible to warn the public of the risks associated with taking their product.
Many patients who have suffered serious medical complications because of Zithromax are expected to have legal claims against the pharmaceutical giant. These lawsuits, filed by Zithromax lawyers, will most likely allege that Pfizer should have known and alerted the public of the risks associated with taking their medication.
Zithromax Side Effects & Complications
Recent studies have linked Zithromax, or Z-Pak, to serious medical conditions.
Minor side effects associated with Zithromax include, diarrhea, stomach pain, dizziness, nervous feelings, or mild rashes.
A more serious concern, however, is the increased risk of QT prolongation, which is the lengthening of the heart’s electrical cycle. This risk is increased for people with pre-existing heart conditions such as arrhythmia. Although the risk is small, these dangers associated with Zithromax can be life-threatening and can be the basis for a lawsuit with the help of a skilled attorney. In rare cases, patients have died from cardiac arrest caused by Z-Pak.
Zithromax can cause or increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmia. The medication can damage the electrical system responsible for controlling the beating of the heart. This can prevent the heart from beating properly, which leads to cardiac arrhythmia. Individuals who already have heart conditions are at a greater risk of developing this complication from taking Zithromax than others.
Arrhythmia can produce symptoms that can vary from hardly noticeable to cardiovascular collapse or even death.
According to the American Heart Association, there are a number or signs and symptoms that can help identify one, including:
- A single premature beat may be felt and is known as a “palpitation” or “skipped beat.”
- Premature beats that occur often or in rapid succession may cause a greater awareness of heart palpitations or a “fluttering” sensation in the chest or neck.
Other more severe symptoms include:
- Fainting or near fainting spells
- Rapid heartbeat or pounding
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- In extreme cases, collapse and sudden cardiac arrest
Torsades de Pointes
Torsades de Pointes is another medical condition of the heart. The name translates to “twists of the points”, due to what it resembles on an ECG monitor. In this condition, the hearts beats too quickly, depriving the brain of oxygen. Eventually, this can lead to an arrhythmia, which can be life threatening.
In some cases, this can deprive the brain of blood and oxygen, leading some people to feel faint. Additionally, Torsades de Pointes can lead to a more serious complication known as ventricular fibrillation. This condition can be fatal.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet issued a recall for Zithromax despite the fact that the drug has been linked to serious side-effects. In May 2013, their investigation resulted in a new warning label being placed on Z-Pak alerting consumers of the QT prolongation dangers associated with taking the drug. Today, Zithromax is still being prescribed to millions of patients.
Although Zithromax has not yet been recalled, you can still pursue a lawsuit if you or someone you care about has been harmed by Zithromax by reaching out to an experienced attorney.
Retain a Zithromax Attorney to File a Claim
Several patients have already filed lawsuits against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zithromax, or Z-Pak. Settlements are expected to be substantial. You may be entitled to file a Zithromax lawsuit if you or a family member suffered harm as a result of taking this drug.
Zithromax lawsuits are filed against the manufacturer. Lawsuit allegations include that the company:
- Failed to warn the public of the risks of taking Zithromax
- Failed to properly test Zithromax for dangerous side-effects
- Withheld research data from the public about Zithromax dangers
- Sold Zithromax even though they knew it could be dangerous
- Manufactured and sold an unsafe product
To learn more, contact a Zithromax lawyer today.