FDA issues warning about antibiotic

AP photo
AP photo

FOX News-  Popular antibiotic Zithromax may cause potentially fatal heart problems according to a new FDA warning.

Not only is this bad news for anyone who has taken a "z-pack" but it could also hurt investors.

The FDA says that Zithromax, commonly used to treat a wide array of bacterial infections, can cause electrical changes in the heart which can lead to a potentially fatal heart rhythm.

FOX News Senior Medical Contributor, Doctor Manny Alvarez says:"if you have underlying factors of cardiac disease, low magnesium, if you have low potassium, you should tell your doctor because there's a potential side effect of taking a z-pack a zithromax which is a very popular antibiotic, could give you abnormalities of the rhythm and that could lead to a problem."

The drug is manufactured in tablet and liquid form and is prescribed as one of the faster ways to cure infections and the common cold.

Pfizer issued an email statement following the announcement that stressed the addition of a warning label to all z-packs. The new strengthened label advises that at-risk patients do not use the medication.

"The FDA is not going to put a black label warning on the drug yet, but what it did do is going to add a couple more lines specifically on the side effects about heart problems which were not there before so this is more for doctors to be aware." said Alvarez.

Shares of Pfizer took a hit at market open Wednesday morning, but the stock is up over 30 percent in the past year.