Zithromax Z-Pak Is it Dangerous

An alarming new warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about a commonly prescribed antibiotic has caused Pfizer to update the warnings on their drug sold as Zithromax, also known as the Z-Pak. This powerful drug is frequently prescribed to counter ear and chest infections, but such are the powerful properties of the drug it can cause changes to the heart's activity. In some patients this can trigger an irregular heartbeat which could be fatal.

The dangers of the approved Z-Pak came to light when the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing the relationship between cardiovascular death and the use of certain antibiotics. The study covered the records of 3 million patients and it showed that patients were twice as likely to die from cardiovascular problems if they were taking Azithromycin compared to other antibiotics, or no antibiotics at all. The risk seemed to be higher in those who had low potassium or magnesium levels or who had slower than normal heart rates.

Z-Pak Antibiotics and Their Use

In 2011, doctors prescribed 55.3 million doses of this powerful antibiotic. It is particularly popular as it is taken over a five-day course instead of the ten days most other antibiotics require to be effective. Obviously the Z-Pak is highly concentrated and it should be remembered that it works by poisoning the infection-causing bacteria to die.

Overuse of antibiotics in the past has led to many bacteria building up resistance to the drugs and the dose is now 50 times as concentrated compared to when antibiotics were first introduced. For this reason, antibiotics should be the last resort for treatment as they have many unpleasant and long-lasting side effects.

Alternatives to Taking Antibiotics such as the Z-Pak

Patience may be the answer, rather than immediately turning to antibiotics to ward off annoying minor ailments. In time the body is wonderfully effective at healing itself, especially if you maintain a healthy immune system. It can be boosted with a healthy diet and natural supplements such as resveratrol and grape seed extract which help reduce inflammatory reactions. Keeping physically fit, getting sufficient sleep and managing stress are all key to staying healthy and avoiding the need for antibiotics. You should also avoid anyone who may be sick themselves, if possible.

If you do have to resort to taking antibiotics, you may prefer not to risk the Z-Pak but ask for one of the other proven antibiotics, particularly if you have pre-existing cardiovascular problems. Although Pfizer maintains in its recent warning that the majority of patients treated with Zithromax will suffer no cardiovascular problems, it is better to be safe than sorry.

To limit the damage caused to your natural intestinal flora by antibiotics, you should protect your digestive tract by taking a supplement of flora or live yoghurt to restore the friendly bacteria which are destroyed by any antibiotic.


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