Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Antibiotics Increase Heart Problems

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Antibiotics Increase Heart Problems

Article excerpt

Azithromycin (Zithromax®) and levofloxacin (Levaquin®), both antibiotics, are associated with an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and death, according to an analysis of data from the Department of Veteran Affairs. When compared with amoxicillin (e.g., Amoxil®), these risks were elevated when applied to short treatment cycles of 1 to 5 days for azithromycin and up to 10 days for levofloxacin.

The analysis was based on almost 1 million prescriptions for amoxicillin, approximately 600,000 for azithromycin, and about 200,000 for levofloxacin. Azithromycin was usually prescribed for 5 days, and levofloxacin was usually prescribed for 10 days.

Azithromycin carried an increased risk of death during the first 5 days of treatment, compared with amoxicillin, as well as an increased risk of serious arrhythmias (heartbeat irregularities). Azithromycin was not associated with an increased risk of these events after the first 5 days. …

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