Pharmaceutical Giant Pfizer is being showered with numerous lawsuits related to its powerful antibiotic Zithromax. Zithromax is an antibiotic drug, which belongs to macrolide antibiotics group of drugs. It contains Azithromycin. FDA has approved Zithromax or Azithromycin for treatment of acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic pulmonary disease, acute bacterial sinusitis, community-acquired pneumonia, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections, urethritis and cervicitis and genital ulcer disease. It is also used to treat bacterial infections such as middle ear infection, pneumonia, tonsillitis and strep throat in children. It is manufactured by Pfizer and is also known as “Z-pack”.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer related to Zithromax side effects as the use of this drug as it is being linked with liver and kidney damage in patients using it. Zithromax is said to cause liver damage and it could lead to kidney damage if used with other drugs.

Reports of adverse effects related to Zithromax even pushed FDA to change the warning label of the drug. Pfizer is being accused that it was aware of potential side effects of Zithromax but did not informed patients about it. It only changed the warning label when asked by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Warning label was modified and liver failure, abnormal liver function, necrosis, and jaundice were included as side effects of the drug. The label indicated that few patients taking the drug experienced these side effects.

Use of Zithromax could lead to several serious side effects including angioedema or swelling of the face, lips, and neck, anaphylaxis, serious skin diseases, problem in swallowing, shortness of breath, problem in speech, QT prolongation, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, extreme tiredness, yellowing of eyes or skin, dark urine, high level of liver enzymes and jaundice. Some patients may even suffer from liver failure needing a liver transplant. Patients may need to live on medicine even after treatment or transplant.

The liver damage caused by Zithromax could be fatal. It is not curable, only its symptoms can be managed. Patients need to stop taking Zithromax as soon as they start showing any symptoms of liver damage such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abnormal liver function, necrosis, jaundice or any other liver related problem.  Some patients can even suffer liver failure if liver damage is not detected on time. Patients may even die to the extremity of the liver damage.

Zithromax is eliminated from the body through liver thus it is capable of causing extreme damage to the liver.  It has been found that liver damage associated with use of Zithromax, were reported as early since 1996. These reports indicated that Zithromax could cause severe and sometimes fatal liver damages.  But even then Pfizer avoided informing patients about it. Later in 2001, Pfizer included warning regarding liver damage on the label of Zithromax, when asked by the FDA. These charges have weakened the ground for Pfizer in numerous Zithromax lawsuits.  Several lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer related to Zithromax liver damage and many more are yet to come.