FDA warns popular drug could cause heart problems - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

FDA warns popular drug could cause heart problems

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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The Federal Drug Administration has issued a warning about the antibiotic Zyrthomycin or Zithromax, also known as the Z-Pak.

The government agency says this prescription medication can cause irregular heart rhythms for some patients that can sometimes be fatal.

Dr. Dennis Rhoades at the Doctors Care in Conway prescribes the drug daily to his patients for everything from severe colds to sexually transmitted diseases. He says the drug poses no real risk for people who do not already have heart problems, but does pose a small risk for those who do.

"There were 47 cases out of one million people who had a heart problem because of the Z-pack, but to my knowledge, and the way that I read the study, those 47 had some type of a heart rhythm problem to begin with," said Rhoades.

Rhoades says you should always discuss your medical history with your doctor, and always read labels. He says if you do have a heart problem, your doctor will likely prescribe another medication.

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