FDA Issues Warning About Popular Antibiotic - myfoxcarolinas.com

FDA Issues Warning About Popular Antibiotic

Posted: Updated:
The FDA on Tuesday issued a warning about the possible treatment known as "Z-Pak." The FDA on Tuesday issued a warning about the possible treatment known as "Z-Pak."

A popular antibiotic prescribed to treat common bacterial infections could carry serious heart risks.

If you've ever taken a "Z-Pak," you need to read this. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Tuesday to doctors, and patients who have or may have heart problems.

Z-Paks are popular and widely prescribed because patients take fewer doses over a shorter period of time, compared to some other antibiotics. And when you're feeling lousy, those are the little pills that can make you feel a whole lot better in just a matter of days. "It's used all the time on a daily basis by many, many health care professionals," Fox 29's Dr. Mike Cirigliano said.

But new information prompted the FDA to issue a warning to doctors: if a patient has certain heart problems, they should not be prescribed a Z-pack, otherwise known as Azithromycin or Zithromax. The FDA says the drug could increase the risk of cardiovascular death in high-risk patients. So who exactly is high risk? Dr. Mike said "low magnesium, low potassium, if they have a history of an abnormal EKG," are among the risk factors. In other words, you need to know how healthy your heart is. And if you don't know, you'll want to find out before taking a Z-Pak.

Melissa Lopez is taking the warning to heart. "We do need to back off and let some colds take their course," Lopez told Fox 29. "I think it's a risk you take with any medication." Dr. Mike called the news a "game changer." "It's going to require that if someone is that sick that they need an antibiotic, it's going to be hard for us to say, hey we'll just give you a Z-Pak over the phone without seeing you," Dr. Mike acknowledged.

In an era where critics complain antibiotics are over-prescribed, and too many patients look to a pill for relief, the Z-Pak warning is sobering. "I probably would still take the Z-Pak," Stephanie Wurgler told Fox 29, "but obviously, if you have a family physician that you see, they would probably know your history, and it would be better to talk to them to make sure that they think it's okay for you."

That's the same advice from Pfizer, the maker of the Z-Pak. The company says most patients will not be affected, but you should talk to your doctor if you have any reason to be concerned. The FDA said it's also putting a stronger warning on the drug's label, just in case.

  • FOX 29 Health FeaturesMore>>

  • Dr. Mike: Canned Tuna Warning For Pregnant Women

    Dr. Mike: Canned Tuna Warning For Pregnant Women

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:30:23 GMT

    Expectant mothers, think it's OK to eat canned tuna? Well, think again! Dr. Mike explains why it may actually be more dangerous than fresh fish.

    Expectant mothers, think it's OK to eat canned tuna? Well, think again! Dr. Mike explains why it may actually be more dangerous than fresh fish.


  • Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-08-15 01:59:13 GMT
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 

  • Cancer Survivor, Transplant Recipient, Iron Man Touts 'Donor Dash' To Students

    Cancer Survivor, Transplant Recipient, Iron Man Touts 'Donor Dash' To Students

    Tuesday, August 5 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-08-05 20:19:30 GMT
    The 19th annual Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness, also known as the "Donor Dash," is coming up on April 13.
    The 19th annual Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness, also known as the "Donor Dash," is coming up on April 13.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • After 27 Years, The Showboat Casino In Atlantic City Closes

    After 27 Years, The Showboat Casino In Atlantic City Closes

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:24 AM EDT2014-09-01 05:24:50 GMT
    The Showboat Casino in Atlantic City has cashed out for the final time. The boardwalk staple of 27 years closed its doors for good at 4 p.m. Sunday.
    The Showboat Casino in Atlantic City has cashed out for the final time. The boardwalk staple of 27 years closed its doors for good at 4 p.m. Sunday.
  • 3 Council Rock High School South Students Killed, 3 Hurt In SUV Crash

    3 Council Rock High School South Students Killed, 3 Hurt In SUV Crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:23 AM EDT2014-09-01 05:23:05 GMT
    Authorities say an SUV carrying six young people overturned in northeastern Pennsylvania, killing three and injuring the others.
    Authorities say an SUV carrying six young people overturned in northeastern Pennsylvania, killing three and injuring the others.
  • Summer Heat Returns

    Sunday, August 31 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-08-31 21:14:08 GMT

    Summer is not over just yet!  90 degree temperatures will take us into September.  Much of the week ahead is looking hot with temps in the 90's and upper 80's.

    There is a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday.

    Unsettled weather will continue through Labor Day with temperatures soaring in the 90's.  We aren't looking at a washout but there will be pop up showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening on Monday. 

    Monday (90/72): Clouds/Storm

    Tuesday (93/71): Clouds/Storm

    Wednesday (87/63) Mostly Sunny

     

     

Powered by WorldNow

WJZY FOX 46
3501 Performance Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28214
Main Number: (704) 398-0046

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices