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British Lung Foundation
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Azithromycin, Lqt, arrhythmia

After hospitalisation for pneumonia and flu l was given azithromycin 250 for 3 times a week. Previously was told couldn’t take az because of heart rhythm problems. My new consultant decided that the lqt was borderline so put me on them. Was worried but eventually started taking them about 5 weeks ago with no problems until recently l have been woken up with a start during the night feeling scared to sleep. I have bronchiectasis,asthma and RA.

Would be grateful for any comments. Regards Maureen.

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Hi Hun, I have been taking Azithromycin for about 2 years , I think it is the Best Antibiotic and I haven't had any Chest Infections since taking it. I am on the Transplant List, I have had Valves in my Right Lung, which are great. I don't have any Heart Probs, so you must tell your Consultant about your Scare if that is the case. Good Luck. Carolina XXXX

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Thank you for your reply. I managed to get an appointment with my GP tomorrow via the website. I am concerned as monitoring has not been mentioned. Will let you know how l get on. Regards Maureen.

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I take them every day I had to have an ecg before the prescription was given to me.

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Hi. Yes , as l had recently been hospitalised l had several ecg. The bronchiectasis consultant said as result was borderline l should be able to take it. Do you have any heart problems? Was really happy to be able to take them but would like to be monitored. I hope the meds help you as they seem to help so many others. I think l need another ecg to find out if any further problems. Thank you for taking the time to reply. Regards Maureen.

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From one Maureen to another !! I have been on them for three years now, they have helped reduce the hospital admissions and infections. The only problem I have had is a very slight hearing loss. My Consultant has advised that I now am to take them for six months of the year not nine as I had before. I really do not want to come off them as I feel they have really helped me. I am to have another hearing test in twelve months time. Like all medication they have side effects its just weighing up whether or not they will be beneficial to you. For me they have been brilliant.

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I really want to stay on them so hopefully another ecg will show no further problems. So pleased they are working for you.

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I was advised to stop taking them during the summer months because ‘people don’t get chest infections in the summer.’ Of course I’m the one who broke the rule. I had the worst infection I’ve had for a long time, so am now back on them all the time!

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Thank you Helen.

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Hi Liberty, I have irregular heart beat and I too take Azithromycin. The GP said it is all a balance, the Azith has never affected my heart and it keeps me free from infection. Please do not worry you will be fine. Azith is my little miracle tablet and has given me back my life. Take care, Maximonkey

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Hello. I realise it is a balance but having recently moved(3 years) l am not too confident in my new consultant. He seems to know nothing about my previous issues. I really want to be able to take the azithromycin but feel l need to see a cardiologist as not seen one for about 20 years. The last ECG I had before the pneumonia was to find out if l could take ciprfloxacin as colonised with pseudomonas. The heart doctor told my GP that l must have iv antibiotics because of the prolonged QT. Moved to be near my daughter but regretting it somewhat due to worsening bronchiectasis and RA. Thank you for your reply and l hope that the az does the same for me.x

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Hi Liberty, do see you GP about your concerns over your heart. Actually I have just returned from the hospital, I needed an echocardiogram to check that my heart is pumping properly, no problem thank goodness, all is well. Do take the Azith as prescribed and I am sure you will soon begin to notice you are not catching everything going and you will hopefully begin to feel so much better. Good luck in your new home, it takes time to settle. Take care of yourself, Maximonkey

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Thank you very much. I am carrying on with the med l feel is my best hope for the future. I had a ct scan in hospital in April and there was nothing remarkable to report with my arteries etc. I must stop worrying about it. Thank you for your support.

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Hi Liberty, it is my pleasure, good luck and take care of yourself. Maximonkey

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Sorry, but I don't agree with those who are basically saying that 'I take Azith and its a wonder drug, so don't worry'!

I myself take azith and it's a wonder drug (!) :-)

I have always had slight occasional heart arythmia and a couple of years ago got a major taccychardia (rapid heart beat at 140bpm) while being treated for an exacerbation in hospital. The Thailand hospital doctors where I now live said it was not an issue but on return to my UK Papworth bronchiectasis consultants for my annual check-up I mentioned it months later and they said 'best we give you a heart monitor for a couple of days and later suggested a once over by their attached heart consultant'. Got ECG'd and reviewed by a real specialist with heart and lung experience and though he concluded that the fast taccy was most likely to be a one off (i get and probably always have had short bouts of occasional mild taccys) I got a lot of comfort from his letter of recommendation which included a full explanation of what was going on and his opinion and things to watch for.

You say 'your consultant' says it's not an issue. Is that based on heart specialisation? Have you had an ECG? If in doubt or scared start by trying to get your medics to refer you to a heart specialist and if no luck consider whether you can afford a session privately. Would be a few hundred quid well spent if you are dead scared.

Just my take.

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Thank you very much. Exactly what l think. I did have ECG and the consultant was happy that l could take the azithromycin. I will seriously consider seeing a cardiologist privately. Much against my better judgement. Don’t have much confidence in my new consultant as my records do not appear to have been seen. Thanks again.

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