Zithromax is one of our ‘staple’ antibiotics due to it’s tolerability, effectiveness of respiratory infections, and low cost.  No doubt overused for viral infections, it is the modern version of Erythromycin, but easier on the stomach.

Now, there are questions being raised about the safety of Zithromax and they are worth understanding.  Zithromax, along with similar medications, can cause variations in the electrical activity of the heart, and it is thought that this effect is what can cause issues in heart patients and patients with diabetes.  The risk for this issue is very small, but when they did a study of over a half-million people on Zpack, they found a concern that was statistically valid, particularly in the groups mentioned.

So….taking Zithromax is far safer than driving your car to the pharmacy to get Zithromax, but still, we should consider reducing the use of unecessary antibiotics.  Don’t call in for an antibiotic with every cold and sniffle.  We will reserve this for patients who require antibiotics, but will use this medication still, as it remains safe and effective for most people.

Here is a quote from an Infectious Diseases researcher…..descrying the fact that antibiotics are too readily prescribed, and he was commenting in response to the latest issue with Zpack:

In HIV and ID Observations, Dr. Paul Sax writes: “If there’s a silver lining to this report … it’s that clinicians will stop prescribing azithromycin for conditions that clearly don’t need it — which is just about every uncomplicated outpatient respiratory infection. … Hey, we can dream, can’t we?”