Zithromax (azithromcyin) is an antibiotic that is associated with a rare but serious allergic skin rash known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). In severe cases, SJS causes massive sections of skin to peel off, infections, blindness, organ failure, or death.
Need a Texas Zithromax Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with SJS, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is the problem with Zithromax?
Zithromax (azithromycin) is an antibiotic medication created by Pfizer. It is more commonly known as “Z-Pak” or “Zmax.” It is very popular drug, with more than 53 million prescriptions written in 2011 alone. It treats a wide variety of bacterial infections, including bronchitis, pneumonia, sexually transmitted diseases (STD); and infections of the ears, lungs, sinuses, skin, throat, and reproductive organs.
Zithromax and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a life-threatening allergic reaction to Zithromax that causes a skin rash, blisters, and large sections of skin to peel off. SJS can also affect the mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose, genitals, lungs, intestines). When the rash covers 30% of the skin or more, SJS is called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). The most serious complications include infections, lung damage, blindness, skin disfigurement, organ failure, and death.
What is the risk?
The risk of SJS from Zithromax is low. Only 5 case reports have been published in medical literature as of March 2016. However, all of the cases were very serious. There are also reports of patients who died from SJS after taking Zithromax.
Allergic Skin Reactions
Zithromax stays in the body for a long time compared to most other antibiotics. It takes nearly 3 days (68 hours) for the body to eliminate 50% of a 500-mg dose of Zithromax. This allows patients to take fewer doses, but it can also prolong allergic reactions when they occur. It can also increase the risk of major complications from SJS.
Symptoms of SJS/TEN
- Skin rash that spreads quickly
- Large fluid-filled blisters
- Red or purplish skin lesions
- Mucous membrane inflammation
- Lung damage
- Loss of hair and nail beds
- Genital scarring
- Skin disfigurement
- Organ failure
Zithromax and Heart Problems
In May 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that found patients on azithromycin were 2.5-times more likely to die suddenly from cardiovascular problems than patients on amoxicillin. Patients with risk factors for cardiovascular problems were even more likely to die. The results of the study were based on 350,000 Medicaid patients who used Zithromax between 1992 and 2006.
In 2014, the Annals of Family Medicine published a study of over 1.6 million people on antibiotics, concluding that people on Zithromax had a 77% increased risk of cardiac arrhythmia and 48% increased risk of death in the first 5 days of treatment, when compared to patients on Amoxil (amoxicilin).
The FDA issued a warning immediately after the NEJM study was published. After investigating the risk, the FDA issued another Safety Communication in March 2013. Zithromax has been linked to the following heart problems:
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- QT Interval prolongation
- Torsades de pointes
- Sudden cardiovascular death
FDA Warning Letter for “False and Misleading” Zithromax Advertisements
In June 2012, Pfizer received a Warning Letter for “false and misleading” statements in an advertising brochure for Zithromax that did not include warnings about irregular heart rhythm. The FDA found Pfizer in violation of federal law for minimizing risk information, making unsubstantiated superiority claims, leaving out facts, broadening the indications for the drug, and making misleading efficacy claims.
Need a Zithromax Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Zithromax lawyers for a free lawsuit review.