Among the various adverse reactions associated with the use of the antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin) is Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), an allergic reaction characterized by rash, blisters and the loss of large amounts of skin due to serious burns. This allergic skin reaction to azithromycin has left many patients hospitalized for months at a time, leaving many permanently disfigured. Many patients have died.
A recent study found that Zithromax use in older patients produces a slightly increased risk of heart attack. However, the use of azithromycin was found to significantly reduce the potential for death in older patients suffering from pneumonia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states, that a medication is worthy of the market so long as the benefits for the use outweighs the risks.
A Zithromax side effect study was conducted by Dr. Eric Mortensen and his colleagues at the VA North Texas Health Care System and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, with data from more than 65,000 patients ages 65 and above who were treated for pneumonia over a 10-year span between 2002-2012.
The researchers found that three months after hospital admission, death rates were just over 17 percent for patients in the azithromycin (Zithromax) group and about 22 percent in the other group. Patients who received azithromycin had a slightly higher risk of heart attack (5.1 percent vs. 4.4 percent), but nearly the same risk for any cardiac event (about 43 percent), heart rhythm disorders (about 26 percent) and heart failure (26 percent).
For every 21 patients treated with Zithromax (azithromycin), one death was prevented within 90 days. For every 144 patients treated with Zithromax, there was one heart attack. The bottom line said researchers, is that Zithromax use in older patients prevents seven deaths for every heart attack it causes. But for the person having the heart attack due to Zithromax, or the family having lost a loved one due to azithromycin use, the outcome is much less pleasant.
But when it does happen, it can be deadly. It can start with a Zithromax rash that can soon turn into full-body blisters. Patients are usually treated in burn units, due to the similarity to serious burns when the entire sheet of outer dermis (skin) detaches much like a burn injury. However, there is no actual burn. Doctors describe this SJS as the body burning from the inside out. Blisters can develop in the mouth and other mucous membranes. Eyesight can also be adversely affected in some patients suffering from temporary or permanent sensitivity to light.
In the most serious Zithromax cases, the patient will not survive.
In many of these lawsuits, it is alleged that the manufacturer of Zithromax, as well as other manufacturers of medications linked to SJS cases failed to alert consumers or the healthcare industry of the potential risk of SJS.
Had these patients known about the potential risks associated with SJS, they would have taken a different antibiotic.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries from the adverse affects of Zithromax, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).