Danish Study Finds No Increased CV Risk With Azithromycin In General Population

A large observational study found no increased risk for cardiovascular events associated with azithromycin (Zithromax, Pfizer) in a general population of young and middle-age adults. In a paper published  in the New England Journal of Medicine, Danish investigators report the results of a large national observational study comparing people who took azithromycin with matched controls who took no antibiotics and with matched controls who took penicillin V for similar indications.

Although there was a significant increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes in people taking azithromycin compared with people taking no antibiotics (RR 2.85, CI 1.13 – 7.24), there was no increase in risk when compared to people taking penicillin V (RR 0.93, CI 0.56 to 1.55). The findings, write the authors, indicate “that the increased risk that was observed in the comparison with no antibiotic use was entirely attributable to the risk of death associated with acute infection (or some other adverse health characteristic in persons receiving antibiotic treatment, as compared with those not treated with antibiotics) rather than with its treatment.”

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