Another interesting study was published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine in which the authors linked the use of ubiquitous azithromycin, commonly prescribed as a Z-pak, to a small but statistically significant increase risk of cardiovascular death compared to those patients prescribed amoxicillin or nothing at all for their upper respiratory infections.
But why take that unnecessary risk? Remember the recent Choosing Wisely campaign? Number two on the list for family physicians was avoiding antibiotics for mild-to-moderate sinusitis less than 7 days duration. When do you need antibiotics? AAAAI & AAFP came out w/similar recommendations in consensus w/Consumer Reports Health. As I teach my residents (and patients), there are no free lunches (especially at the School of Medicine since pharmaceutical companies signed off on the revised guidelines regarding interactions w/healthcare professionals) as every medication is actually a double-edged sword. So choose wisely!