Antibiotic may cause irregular heart rhythm

The Food and Drug Administration says the antibiotic azithromycin can cause a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm in some patients.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine compared the risk of cardiovascular death from different antibacterial drugs and found that azithromycin had a higher rate of death.

Azithromycin is sold in Canada and the U.S. under the name Zithromax.

The FDA says health care professionals should consider the risk of fatal heart rhythms with azithromycin, when considering treatment options for patients who are already at risk for cardiovascular events.

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