Certain Antibiotic/Statin Combos

Certain Antibiotic/Statin Combos May Be Unsafe Mix: Study

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Certain Antibiotic

Certain Antibiotic like clarithromycin along with the cholesterol-lowering meds had higher risk of side effects.

So seniors who take the antibiotic Biaxin (clarithromycin). Along with certain types of cholesterol-lowering statins are at risk for drug interaction side effects that can lead to hospitalization and or even death. A new study suggests.

“But physicians need to be made aware of this newly described dangerous interaction and consider alternative antibiotics to prevent toxicity that could be life-threatening.” said expert Dr. Kevin Marzo. Chief of cardiology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.

But he was not involved in the new study. Which appears in the Dec. 22 issue of theCanadian Medical Association Journal.

According to the study authors, more than 1 billion people worldwide are now estimated to use statins. They added that while drug-drug interactions are uncommon. Some types of medications can affect the way a statin is metabolized in the body.

Because they are metabolized differently. It was believed that some types of statins — Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Pravachol (pravastatin) are not affected by other medications. But, recent research suggests that may not be the case.

But In the new study, Canadian researchers looked at more than 104,000 people aged 66 and older. Who were taking one of two common antibiotics. Biaxin and or Zithromax (azithromycin) and one of three statins, rosuvastatin, pravastatin or fluvastatin (Lescol).

Because people who used Biaxin plus one of the statins. So they had a slightly increased risk of hospitalization and or death due to acute kidney injury and or high potassium levels, the researchers found.

Prevent Toxicity

“So to prevent toxicity. The use of azithromycin and or another antibiotic that does not interact with statins can be considered.” Conclude the team led by Dr. Amit Garg. A nephrologist at Western University in London, Ontario.

Marzo agreed, and said that computer-monitored prescribing technologies might help patients avoid dangerous antibiotic-statin combos.

“Because e-prescribing can enhance patient safety. By alerting physicians of these newly described serious adverse drug interactions in every day busy clinical practices.” he said.

Dr. David Friedman

Dr. David Friedman is chief of heart failure services at North Shore-LIJ’s Franklin Hospital. In Valley Stream, N.Y. He said that “so with the ever growing proliferation of the statin class of medication for aiding in cholesterol-lowering and cutting heart disease risk. Because we still need to be mindful of possible drug-drug conflicts that might render one or more of the affected medications less effective. But possibly even more dangerous in terms of side effects.”

“Because this study further emphasizes that prudence and care should always be exercised. Especially when patients are given multiple pharmaceuticals.” Friedman said.

More Information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about statins.

SOURCES: Kevin Marzo, M.D., chief, cardiology, Winthrop-University Hospital, Mineola, N.Y.; David Friedman, M.D., chief, heart failure services, North Shore-LIJ’s Franklin Hospital, Valley Stream, N.Y.; Canadian Medical Association Journal, news release, Dec. 22, 2014