Zithromax, the trade name for azithromycin, is one of the most widely prescribed antibiotics in the United States. Known popularly among consumers as “Z-Pak,” the drug is prescribed in 3-day and 5-dose packs to treat bacterial infections such as respiratory infections, skin infections, ear infections, and sexually transmitted diseases. It is also sold under the name “Zmax.”
Azithromycin side effects have gained national attention in recent years for causing a variety of serious complications in some users, including:
- Liver Failure
- Kidney Failure
- Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
- Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
- Allergic reactions
- Lesions/blisters in the mouth, throat, eyes, genitals
- Birth defects
Some consumers say they were not adequately warned of these potential Zithromax side effects, causing them to suffer physical and financial harm.
If you or a loved one took Zithromax/azithromycin/Z-pak/Zmax and suffered serious side effects, you may have a legal claim for compensation. Fill out the form on this page now or call 1-(855)-JONES-LAW (1-855-566-3752) for a FREE case evaluation.
Overview: Azithromycin Side Effects
Drug makers have a legal responsibility to adequately disclose all risks associated with their products. Failure to do so could put them on the hook for negligently marketing, selling and manufacturing an allegedly defective drug.
Pfizer has faced many legal problems due to its manufacturing and marketing of Zithromax/Z-Pak/Zmax.
In June 2012, the FDA warned Pfizer that a promotional brochure for the medicine did not comply with federal rules and regulations.
Specifically, the FDA said the brochure was misleading because it minimized and omitted information about the drug’s risks while making unsubstantiated superiority claims. Additionally, the brochure implied that azithromycin was suitable to treat conditions that it had not been approved to treat.
Zithromax Liver Failure
Zithromax has been linked to an increased risk of liver damage, elevated liver enzymes, jaundice and death in patients with no preexisting liver problems.
A 2013 study published in the National Library of Health Medicine suggested that Zithromax increased the risk of toxic liver disease (or hepatotoxicity) by 1% to 2%. This percentage increases if someone uses Zithromax for longer than a few days.
Evidence presented in Zithromax lawsuits claim that Pfizer knew about the effects of azithromycin on the liver as early as 1998 but waited to change the warning label until they were required to by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in late 2000.
In 2001, the FDA required Pfizer to make further updates to the warning label on Z-Pak about abnormal liver function, jaundice, necrosis liver failure, and even death.
Symptoms of Zithromax liver damage include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Clay-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Skin discoloration
Zithromax Kidney Failure
Although rare, azithromycin side effects have been linked to kidney failure, kidney damage and infections of the kidneys.
Symptoms of kidney failure/kidney disease include:
- Changes in urination
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, face and/or hands
- Skin rash/itching
- Metallic taste in the mouth/Ammonia breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling cold
- Leg pain
Zithromax Skin Reactions
Some Zithromax users have reported allergic reactions to the drug that caused them to develop skin blisters, lesions and burn-like symptoms — hallmarks of the diseases Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN).
SJS and TEN are rare, but potentially fatal, autoimmune reactions that can be triggered by medication. Azithromycin has been linked to both disorders in multiple patients.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome typically begins with flu-like symptoms that develop into a rash covering up to 30% of the patient’s skin.
For many SJS victims, the top layer of skin dies, leaving the wound open to secondary infection and sepsis. Mucous membranes, such as those found in the eyes, mouth, and genitals, may also be affected.
Roughly 5% to 15% of SJS patients die. Those that survive can be left with permanent scarring and other side effects.
For some, Stevens Johnson Syndrome can progress into Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. TEN is diagnosed when more than 30% of the patient’s body is covered in blisters. TEN patients have a 30% to 40% risk of dying from their injuries.
Zithromax Birth Defects
The FDA has classified Zithromax as a “Pregnancy Category B” drug, which means that animal studies have not shown a risk to the fetus and that there have been no adequate studies on the risk of Zithromax birth defects in humans. The FDA recommends that Zithromax should be prescribed during pregnancy only when clearly necessary.
If you took Zithromax while pregnant and had a child with birth defects, you may have a legal claim. Zithromax birth defects may include:
- Heart defects
- Brain problems
- Shortened limbs
- Cleft palate
- Other congenital defects
Dozens of Zithromax lawsuits have been filed over azithromycin side effects such as liver failure, kidney failure, Stevens Johnson Syndrome, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, Zithromax birth defects, and other negative reactions caused by taking the antibiotic.
These Zithromax/Z-Pak lawsuits attempt to recover compensation for victims’ medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to their injuries.
Family members who lost a loved one due to an alleged Zithromax complication may also choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek additional compensation.
If you or a loved one was injured after taking Zithromax, azithromycin, Z-Pak, or Zmax, you don’t have to take on the drug makers alone. An experienced drug injury attorney is waiting to review your case for free and help you try and obtain the compensation you deserve. Fill out the form on this page now or call 1-(855)-JONES-LAW (1-855-566-3752) for a FREE case evaluation.
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