FDA Warning: Zithromax Can Cause Fatal Arrhythmia

FDA Warning Zithromax Can Cause Fatal ArrhythmiaA popular antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections can cause abnormal — and possibly fatal — heart rhythms in some patients, according to a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration. The drug, azithromycin, sells under the name Zithromax or Zmax and is commonly sold in what’s called a Z-Pak.

‘Higher risk of death’

Researchers at Vanderbilt University looked at the records of thousands of Tennessee Medicaid patients over a period of 14 years. They found a 2.5 times higher risk of death from heart disease in the first five days of using a Z-Pak when compared to another common antibiotic or no antibiotics at all. The drug may cause changes in the electrical activity of the heart, according to the FDA.

People with underlying heart problems seem to be especially vulnerable to developing this condition, said Wayne Ray, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt and the study’s lead researcher. The FDA said patients who have low blood levels of potassium or magnesium are at a higher risk. Patients who have a slower than normal heart rate or are already taking drugs to treat arrhythmias should also be cautious.

‘Underlying health issues’

So should people with heart problems stop taking the drug? Not necessarily. Ray said it’s important to ask your doctor the follow questions: How serious is the infection? If I use a Z-Pak could it aggravate any underlying health issues? Are there any other antibiotics that could work just as well?

Ray said doctors often prescribe Z-Paks because the drug only needs to be taken for five days, versus the 10-day periods that are typical with other antibiotics. Drug labels for azithromycin have been updated to include warnings about this risk, the FDA said.

Do you think this FDA warning will affect the sales of Z-Pak? Feel free to share your insights regarding this topic!

Source: CNN

Image: NY Daily News

Could Super-Volcano Eruptions Lead To World’s End?

New research indicates catastrophic eruptions of super-volcanoes, could make thermonuclear war or global warming seem trivial, spewing untold tons of ash into the atmosphere to block sunlight. The result would be many years of frigid temperatures, wiping out millions of species.

A super-volcano that erupted 250 million years ago is now believed to have created the greatest mass extinction the world has ever seen, wiping out up to 95 percent of all plant and animal species. Some renegade scientists believe it was a volcano, not an asteroid, that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

A new study by geophysicists from Vanderbilt, along with colleagues at the University of Chicago and elsewhere, documents several lines of research showing that the trigger could be pulled quickly, possibly within a few hundred years. Guilherme Gualda and his team studied deposits in the Long Valley Caldera in northeastern California, where a violent eruption blew 150 cubic miles of molten rock into the atmosphere, blanketing much of North America with hot ash and dropping the earth’s surface more than a mile as it sank into the area once occupied by the magma.

A couple of decades ago, trees began dying on nearby Mammoth Mountain from large amounts of carbon dioxide seeping from the magma, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Today, the caldera seems to be quieting down, despite several recent bursts of seismic events, but it is probably the most closely watched volcano on the planet.

Meanwhile, Scientists at Oregon State University have been focusing their attention on Yellowstone National Park, where an eruption a couple of million years ago is believed to have been 2,000 times larger than Mount St. Helens. Super-volcanoes cannot be ignored, and now it seems they can pull the trigger much more quickly than anyone had thought. Cheers.

Do you believe that super-volcanoes could actually lead to the end of the world? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Saraar Media