There never seems to be any good news coming out about antibiotics. This study compares usage to people who didn’t take antibiotics, clearly demonstrating that antibiotics kill people. The title states that they increase the risk of death, which minimizes the fact they are proven to cause more deaths – Worst Pills Best Pills Newsletter article August, 2012
Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Death With Azithromycin and Levofloxacin
A study just released in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has found that azithromycin (ZITHROMAX, ZMAX) and levofloxacin (LEVAQUIN), two widely used antibiotics, may increase the risk of cardiovascular death, especially sudden death from heart rhythm disturbances.
Based on an examination of the medical records of 3.5 million Tennessee Medicaid patients, those who took azithromycin (distributed commonly as the five-day “Z-PAK”) were almost three times more likely to die from cardiovascular causes, such as sudden cardiac death, during the five days of therapy than those who took no antibiotics. The patients who took azithromycin also were 2.5 times more likely to die from cardiovascular causes than those who took amoxicillin (AMOXIL), another antibiotic. This translated to 47 to 245 more cardiovascular deaths (the range of excess deaths depends on the patients’ cardiac risk factors) for every 1 million patients placed on the drug, relative to amoxicillin users.
Levofloxacin was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death compared to the risk in those who took amoxicillin, although the results for levofloxacin were less clear than those for azithromycin.
Based on this research and previous studies, both azithromycin and levofloxacin are thought to cause a heart rhythm disturbance known as torsades de pointes, which can lead to sudden cardiac death, the most common cause of death in azithromycin users in the recent NEJM study.
Another article by researchers at Vanderbilt University appeared in the NEJM in 2004 showed an increase death rate with the use of erythromycin. Other research published by the Americam Medical Association (AMA) has shown a 50% increase risk of breast cancer in women who used antibiotics for any indication.