A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the popular antibiotic Zithromax caries a small but significant risk of sudden death from heart problems. Patients who took a five-day course were more than twice as likely to die than people taking different antibiotics. This risk was even higher for people who already had cardiovascular disease.
Zithromax is the brand name for azithromycin, which is used to treat common infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Its popularity is largely due to the fact that patients can take it for a relatively short period of time compared to similar medications.
The study, carried out by Vanderbilt University Researchers, involved more than 500,000 Medicaid recipients from Tennessee and covered a span of 14 years.
The FDA, in announcing the study results, cautioned that patients should not stop taking the medication without first checking with their doctors.
See more information about the study here: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1003833