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Originally published August 28 2014

Sudden heart failure deaths tied to commonly prescribed antibiotic

by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer

(NaturalNews) More people are beginning to understand that antibiotics are essentially anti-life. They destroy both the invading pathogens and the beneficial bacteria in the human gut. As the good microbes are depleted along with the bad, the gut wall loses its protection, allowing future pathogens to more readily penetrate into the blood. When used as the "cure-all" for minor bacterial infections, antibiotics create a cycle of dependence. Instead of building the beneficial gut microbe "army" for immune system empowerment, people fall for the easy-to-fill antibiotic prescription which destroys the immune system over time.

Clarithromycin associated with 76 percent increase in heart failure risk compared to penicillin

Now, millions of people taking a specific antibiotic called clarithromycin are beginning to find out that it comes with an increased risk of heart failure and death. Dutch researchers have called for an "urgent" evaluation of the antibiotic clarithromycin after finding that those who take it are 76 percent more likely to die from heart failure than those who take penicillin. Their study was published online in The BMJ.

In England alone, 2.2 million doses of clarithromycin were prescribed in 2013. Doctors hand the drug out to those with respiratory infections while often ignoring the drug's well known side effect: It extends the electrical activity in the lower section of the heart, leading to potentially fatal heart rhythm disturbances.

In the Dutch population studied, the researchers found an extra 37 cardiac deaths per one million courses of clarithromycin, when compared to penicillin intake. This goes to show again how antibiotics are essentially anti-life. They destroy life in more ways than one.

While penicillin appears safer for cardiac death risk, people can still have severe allergic reactions to it. Kieran Hand, a pharmacist at Southampton General Hospital, says that all antibiotics carry a risk and that the new study shows that antibiotics should be prescribed with caution. "All antibiotics carry a small risk of a serious complication and simply switching patients from clarithromycin to penicillin will not solve the problem as there is a risk of a serious allergic reaction in some patients," he said.

The lead author of the new study, Henrik Svanstrom, wrote, "This large cohort study found a significantly increased risk of cardiac death associated with clarithromycin. No increased risk was seen with roxithromycin. Given the widespread use of clarithromycin, these findings call for confirmation in independent populations."

37 cardiac deaths per one million courses of clarithromycin

In the large cohort study, the researchers looked at data on over 160 thousand courses of clarithromycin, over 580 thousand courses of roxithromycin, and another 4.35 million rounds of penicillin V, which were all prescribed for around seven days to Danish adults between the ages of 40 and 74.

The study began in 1997 and ended in 2011. During the study, there were 285 cardiac deaths. After figuring for factors such as age and sex, the researchers calculated that, for every one million courses of clarithromycin, there are 37 cardiac deaths.

According to Professor Kevin McConway, this rate of cardiac death is still small and not to worry over: "The risk of such a death when taking one of these antibiotics is very small.

"On the researchers' own analysis, the cardiac death rate on clarithromycin could plausibly be anywhere between eight per cent and 185 per cent higher than the rate on penicillin V. So they concluded that the death rate was higher on clarithromycin, but they couldn't be very sure how much higher. And in any case a death rate that's just a bit higher than a very small death rate will still be very small.

"Since in any case the cardiac death rate while on these drugs
is very small, this isn't a risk that I personally would worry about

What do you think?

Are 37 deaths for every one million courses of antibiotics not a big deal?

Or is a drug that carries this kind of risk even a medicine at all?

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