FDA warns of potential risks associated with popular antibiotic - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FDA warns of potential risks associated with popular antibiotic

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The Federal Drug Administration has issued a warning in regards to one of the most popular antibiotics in the country, according to NBC News.

Experts with the FDA say azithromycin -- more commonly known as the Z-Pack -- can cause a potentially fatal, irregular heartbeat in certain patients.

The drug can alter the electrical activity of the heart, leading to these irregular heartbeats.

Those at the highest risk for this issue are those who suffer from a slow heart rate, those who already use drugs to regulate an irregular heart rate and those with low levels of potassium or magnesium.

The number of deaths from this side effect is relatively low, but still two-and-a-half times the norm.

Approximately 50,000,000 prescriptions for azithromycin were written in 2001. It is most often used to treat sinus infections and bronchitis.

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