FDA Issues Warning About Popular Antibiotic - KMSP-TV

FDA Issues Warning About Popular Antibiotic

Posted: Updated:
The FDA on Tuesday issued a warning about the possible treatment known as "Z-Pak." The FDA on Tuesday issued a warning about the possible treatment known as "Z-Pak."

A popular antibiotic prescribed to treat common bacterial infections could carry serious heart risks.

If you've ever taken a "Z-Pak," you need to read this. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Tuesday to doctors, and patients who have or may have heart problems.

Z-Paks are popular and widely prescribed because patients take fewer doses over a shorter period of time, compared to some other antibiotics. And when you're feeling lousy, those are the little pills that can make you feel a whole lot better in just a matter of days. "It's used all the time on a daily basis by many, many health care professionals," Fox 29's Dr. Mike Cirigliano said.

But new information prompted the FDA to issue a warning to doctors: if a patient has certain heart problems, they should not be prescribed a Z-pack, otherwise known as Azithromycin or Zithromax. The FDA says the drug could increase the risk of cardiovascular death in high-risk patients. So who exactly is high risk? Dr. Mike said "low magnesium, low potassium, if they have a history of an abnormal EKG," are among the risk factors. In other words, you need to know how healthy your heart is. And if you don't know, you'll want to find out before taking a Z-Pak.

Melissa Lopez is taking the warning to heart. "We do need to back off and let some colds take their course," Lopez told Fox 29. "I think it's a risk you take with any medication." Dr. Mike called the news a "game changer." "It's going to require that if someone is that sick that they need an antibiotic, it's going to be hard for us to say, hey we'll just give you a Z-Pak over the phone without seeing you," Dr. Mike acknowledged.

In an era where critics complain antibiotics are over-prescribed, and too many patients look to a pill for relief, the Z-Pak warning is sobering. "I probably would still take the Z-Pak," Stephanie Wurgler told Fox 29, "but obviously, if you have a family physician that you see, they would probably know your history, and it would be better to talk to them to make sure that they think it's okay for you."

That's the same advice from Pfizer, the maker of the Z-Pak. The company says most patients will not be affected, but you should talk to your doctor if you have any reason to be concerned. The FDA said it's also putting a stronger warning on the drug's label, just in case.

  • FOX 29 Health FeaturesMore>>

  • Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 11:27 AM EDT2014-08-26 15:27:40 GMT
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
  • Dr. Mike: Canned Tuna Warning For Pregnant Women

    Dr. Mike: Canned Tuna Warning For Pregnant Women

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:30:23 GMT

    Expectant mothers, think it's OK to eat canned tuna? Well, think again! Dr. Mike explains why it may actually be more dangerous than fresh fish.

    Expectant mothers, think it's OK to eat canned tuna? Well, think again! Dr. Mike explains why it may actually be more dangerous than fresh fish.


  • Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-08-15 01:59:13 GMT
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Ex-top aide to Congressman Fattah pleads guilty

    Ex-top aide to Congressman Fattah pleads guilty

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:40:57 GMT
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A political consultant and former chief of staff to Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah has pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in a pair of campaign finance schemes.Gregory Naylor pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to the FBI, concealing a felony and falsifying documents.Court documents say Naylor issued a phony invoice of more than $193,000 to a candidate in the 2007 mayor's race. Court documents don't name the candidate, but Naylor was a top adviser to Fatta...
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A political consultant and former chief of staff to Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah has pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in a pair of campaign finance schemes.Gregory Naylor pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to the FBI, concealing a felony and falsifying documents.Court documents say Naylor issued a phony invoice of more than $193,000 to a candidate in the 2007 mayor's race. Court documents don't name the candidate, but Naylor was a top adviser to Fatta...
  • Police Continue To Investigate Kidnapping And Double Murder

    Police Continue To Investigate Kidnapping And Double Murder

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:31:11 GMT
    Homicide investigators spent Thursday searching a home in Southwest Philadelphia searching for clues in the abduction of three men in Philadelphia.
    Homicide investigators spent Thursday searching a home in Southwest Philadelphia searching for clues in the abduction of three men in Philadelphia.
  • Police: Missing NJ Teen Found Dead In Israeli Forest

    Police: Missing NJ Teen Found Dead In Israeli Forest

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:11:30 GMT
    Israeli police say they have recovered the body of the American student who disappeared last week.
    Israeli police say they have recovered the body of the American student who disappeared last week.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices