Antibiotic Linked to Heart Disease
Here comes another post on the risks and hidden costs of antibiotics: azithromycin has now been linked to death from heart disease. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a concerning new correlation:
Researchers at Vanderbilt University looked at the records of thousands of Tennessee Medicaid patients over a period of 14 years. They found a 2.5-fold higher risk of death from heart disease in the first five days of using Z-pack when compared to another common antibiotic or no antibiotics at all.
The Z-pack is what doctors call azithromycin, which is often favored for its short prescription time (5 days) and common use.
So, that’s the bad news. The good news is that azithromycin can still be an effective treatment for many infections. The key is to speak with your prescribing physician and weigh all the pros and cons carefully. For instance, the study found that people with underlying heart problems were especially prone to adverse effects, so having your ENT take a history and follow up are essential.
Antibiotics are a bedrock of modern medicine, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Studies like this simply underscore the larger point that the medical community has grown cavalier about their use. The better we can mediate and mandate proper distribution of these powerful drugs, the better they will serve us as all.