Levofloxacin and Azithromycin Both Cause Heart Rhythm Abnormalities

The CBS News article, “FDA warns azithromycin “Z-pack” antibiotics could lead to deadly heart rhythms for some” has been circulating around Facebook lately. The article is from 2013, but it is still relevant today, and I am glad to see that people are spreading the word about the dangers and consequences of all antibiotics.

However, whenever I see the article posted, I want to scream – Levaquin/levofloxacin is just as bad, if not worse, for heart health, than azithromycin/Z-packs. 

The article in Annals of Family Medicine, “Azithromycin and Levofloxacin Use and Increased Risk of Cardiac Arrhythmia and Death” concluded that:

“Compared with amoxicillin, azithromycin resulted in a statistically significant increase in mortality and arrhythmia risks on days 1 to 5, but not 6 to 10. Levofloxacin, which was predominantly dispensed for a minimum of 10 days, resulted in an increased risk throughout the 10-day period.”

The article elaborates:

“In this nationwide cohort study of US veterans, compared with amoxicillin, we found that a short-course of azithromycin therapy was associated with statistically significant hazard ratios of 1.47 for mortality risks and 1.77 serious arrhythmias risks within the first 5 days of treatment. The risk of these events was not significantly increased for days 6 to 10. Treatment with levofloxacin, also when compared with amoxicillin, had statistically significant hazard ratios of 2.49 for mortality risk and 2.43 for serious arrhythmia risk; however, the increased risk with levofloxacin continued to be statistically significant during days 6 to 10.”

Both azithromycin/Z-packs and Levofloxacin are more dangerous than amoxicillin. But Levofloxacin is more dangerous to the heart for a longer period of time.

The warning label for fluoroquinolones elaborate on the arrhythmia risk:

“Some fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN®, have been associated with prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Rare cases of torsade de pointes have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN® . LEVAQUIN® should be avoided in patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, patients with uncorrected hypokalemia, and patients receiving Class IA (quinidine, procainamide), or Class III (amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents. Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval.”

Additionally, fluoroquinolones increase the risk of aortic ruptures and tears. The FDA added warnings about aortic tears and ruptures to fluoroquinolone warning labels in 2018 – “FDA warns about increased risk of ruptures or tears in the aorta blood vessel with fluoroquinolone antibiotics in certain patients.”

People should be aware of the increased risk of heart rhythm irregularities with azithromycin/Z-packs. They should know that azithromycin prescriptions can have deadly consequences. People should also know that fluoroquinolones, Levofloxacin in particular, is NOT a safer alternative. In fact, it’s even more dangerous than azithromycin, and it not only causes deadly heart-rhythm irregularities, it also damages blood vessels.

People with pre-existing heart-rhythm irregularities should avoid both azithromycin and levofloxacin (as well as the other fluoroquinolones).

Doctors and patients alike should be aware of these risks to heart and vascular health that are associated with antibiotic use. A decade ago it would have been considered unthinkable that antibiotics could be linked to heart and vascular problems. But the research has shown that these connections exist.

Be careful, my friends. And spread the word about all dangerous antibiotics.


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20 thoughts on “Levofloxacin and Azithromycin Both Cause Heart Rhythm Abnormalities

  1. L March 13, 2019 at 4:48 pm Reply

    OH great. The one we thought was safer.

  2. Patrick Jordan March 13, 2019 at 5:34 pm Reply

    The very first thing that popped into my mind was POTS that is associated with kids with autism and lyme victims. The cardinal indicators would be autonomic dysfunction that can be traced to H. pylori infecting and influencing the vagus nerve. One thing that I haven’t seen volunteered on this site are the primary reasons WHY folks got floxxed.


    So for some reason people are being given flox or Azithromycin (why does that sound like the name of a Mesopotamian demon to me?) and that should be a guide to what happens next. Sure… flox tears up connective tissue. But so does Bartonella. So which came first the bug or the bug killer?

    Neuropathic POTS: Peripheral denervation (loss of nerve supply) leads to poor blood vessel muscles, especially in the legs and core body.

    Herpes alone can dig into the nerves under the influence of opioids and alcohol.
    Lyme Borellia can dig into the nerves. Goodbye nerves.

    Hyperadrenergic POTS: Overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system
    Low blood volume POTS: Reduced blood volume can lead to POTS. Low blood volume can cause similar symptoms that may overlap in neuropathic and hyperadrenergic POTS

    Who is at risk for POTS?

    The majority of POTS patients are women ages 13-50 years old. About 450,000 people suffer from POTS in the United States.

    Patients may develop POTS after a viral illness,

    Lyme reactivates latent viruses from herpes to EBV to…

    serious infections,

    …may seem like a broken record… butt… Lyme…
    and like I said I haven’t seen a catalog of why folks got floxed. Nothing happens in a vacuum so the cardiovascular sequelae could be part of the infection that is unfortunately enhanced by the chemical weapon of choice.

    medical illness, pregnancy, and trauma such as head injury. The condition may develop as aftermath of a significant illness (especially associated with hospitalization and prolonged immobilization).
    POTS may develop in those who have had a recent history of mononucleosis.

    Epstein freaking Barr, my friends! Courtesy of your polio shot ane reactivated by your lyme exposure.

    People with certain autoimmune conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and celiac disease can be at higher risk.

    Autoimmunity is directly related back to Lyme, so we are again tasked with why people are in to the doctor in the first place and if the antibiotics that are given out like Pez didn’t have something to do with any number of shoes of the Imelda Octopus to drop with the haze of temporal distance and plausible deniability in place for no one to make the corn neck shuns.

    Sjogren’s can be evaluated by blood testing, dry eye test, lip biopsy, and rheumatology consult. Celiac disease can be tested through blood work, gastroenterology consult, and if needed biopsies of the small intestines

    Kids: one of our own was diagnosed with celiac disease and the doctor gave an ANTI-LEPROSY DRUG. This was in Australia. I have a forever debt of gratitude for her sharing that since it changed the very course of our investigations into all of this.

    • L March 13, 2019 at 6:35 pm Reply

      You said “One thing that I haven’t seen volunteered on this site are the primary reasons WHY folks got floxxed.” Well Patrick, if anyone could answer that we would be well on our way to a fix. Problem is it is believed now that ANYONE could be floxxed depending on their personal threshold. (I had, as it turns out, taken both cipro and Levaquin in the past with seemingly no issue, although I suspect it was already working its magic.) Third time it went off like a bomb.

      And not only can FLQs destroy collagen as you pointed out (ALL connective tissue, from meniscus to vitreous in the eyes,) they also damage mitochondrial DNA and gut microbiome; cause psychiatric issues and can effect virtually any system/organ in the body.

      You ask WHY we were in the doctors office to begin with and might that have something to do with it. Well, for me and many others it was for a simple urinary tract infection.

      • Patrick Jordan March 13, 2019 at 7:42 pm Reply

        The heart of the question revolves around the initial medical condition that the person was presenting with, such as, in your case the UTI so the we can see if there are any patterns here for disease/antibiotic potentiation. Don’t you think it is odd that a UTI is ROUTINELY prescribed FQs when they are a drug of last resort? This indicates either criminal stupidity or conspiracy. Yet when we set aside the blame for a moment to evaluate it in purely biological terms then we have to get down to the genus and species of organisms (there can be many UTI offenders) in order to get some kind of SYNERGISTIC effect between drug and adverse effects. This is something we haven’t dug into yet at our end, but when I get these Hunchbacks of Notre Dame on topics like this they usually open out into something big and revealing. If you know, and don’t mind sharing, the genus and species cultured from the UTI would be a big help. If there was no culture done then a trip to a lawyer’s office might be in order. Cheers.

        • L March 13, 2019 at 8:47 pm

          NO, doctors routinely (especially before the warning) prescribed FLQs out of ignorance and laziness. It kills everything. They don’t have to worry about it not working to kill the uti. So I would go with your criminal stupidity (not sure about conspiracy.) Most doctors never see or read the warnings. They get a sales job from the rep, and then they start noticing that once they prescribe it for anything, it is “fixed. problem solved.” So they keep on using it. I don’t have any info on the uti at this point. But I suspect all this has nothing to do with the reason we were given the drug to begin with. There have been many scientific papers written on flqs. You might want to review some of those.

        • Patrick Jordan March 14, 2019 at 1:47 am

          But then the followup to the ‘kills everything’ notion would be: did the UTI go away and STAY away? Chris’s reply indicates that they take antibiotics post floxing, so for most people does this mean that the same problem recurred? which would mean that the flox really didn’t ‘work’; or: are these new problem from something like dybiosis from FQ destroying the biome so that only pathogens are favored? What I’m trying to do it get beyond the supposed destructive action attributed to just the FQs to see if there is a synergistic reaction between the killed organisms, their endotoxin release, and/or any cell wall deficient forms that might be caused by the use of FQs that go on to cause the tissue destruction that is laid solely at the door of FQs but may be multifactorial. This would give a universal method to approach healing instead of the individual success/failure that is reported with FQs.

        • Debs March 14, 2019 at 2:12 am

          Many of us got floxed when we were prescribed them ‘ just in case ‘ for a suspected UTI , or because the Dr could not yet find out what was going on, & we later find out that we did not have an infection, any bacterial strain present in the first place ( which happened to me not just once but twice in the distant past ), & of course, FQs, still being considered in our Drs indoctrinated minds the ‘ pill for all ills ‘, this is still occurring to date, & imho this will continue to occur ongoing, no matter how many warnings are adjusted, no matter how many black boxes they acquire until the whole Quinolone/fluoroquinolone class of dangerous so called ‘ antibiotics’ are placed where they should be, under risk & mitigation , or eventually withdrawn from use completely .

        • Patrick Jordan March 14, 2019 at 2:24 am

          OK, that is just sad and prosecuteable. One of our own went regularly to doctors for UT problems, they would take a culture but send her home with antibiotics then report that there were no organisms found before she even took the drugs. Of course they were only looking for bacteria. Turns out that she not only had problems with surgical mesh but also fungus. My head hurts just thinking about what the relationship between FQs and fungus might be. So, to give an FQ in the absence of evidence is firing squad worthy. What this tells me again is either criminal negligence or conspiracy to embed disease or create one where there was none in the bacterial realm, however, if you were presenting with physical problems yet cultures were not done for fungus then that is again negligence but also malpractice because you will never find something if you’re not looking for it. Just our conversationn has shown me how horrifically difficult this investigation will be if there is no evidence at the crime scene. My sympathies.

        • Chris March 14, 2019 at 3:37 am

          In the US military it’s absolutely not prosecutable. You treat anyway no matter what. This has been the way of military medicine in all branches for decades. I know I was on the frontlines for over 20 years. Civilian life is totally different. It shouldn’t be but it is.

        • L March 14, 2019 at 9:15 am

          I agree completely. I have said over and over again that the warnings are virtually useless. Doctor’s aren’t getting them or reading them and they continue to hand this stuff out like candy. (And look at floxie hope—how many newly floxed there are here every week/month…and that’s a tiny fraction of all the people out there who are floxed are have no idea.)

  3. Chris March 13, 2019 at 6:19 pm Reply

    Z packs never bothered me, even when I was at the heart of being floxed. Everyone’s body is different. Azithromycin is one of the few antibiotics left that I can take safely. I prescribed them for years in the military with no issues to patients. Not one reported heart issue. Thanks for the article but I will continue to take it when needed.

  4. Debs March 14, 2019 at 2:21 am Reply

    I highly recommend this site for anyone seeking information on the many drugs on the market which can potentially cause serious problems with heart rhythm.


  5. Karen March 15, 2019 at 3:48 am Reply

    I have had heart problems ever since I have been on antibiotics for UTI continuously. What can you do?

    • Patrick Jordan March 15, 2019 at 7:41 am Reply

      I would get to the ‘heart’ of the UTIs. Is the heart damage related to electrical or structural damage? Hulda Clark said that one of the reasons for strokes is that there are eddy currents in the vessels and valves of the heart that allow for adhesion of microbes so that when you get a bacteria or fungus set up there it causes irritation that can lead to high blood pressure and the other door prizes are clots and strokes. Microbes. Bugs put off toxins. What are the effects of endotoxins and mycotoxins? Quite often when someone has a heart attack the doctors will remove their gallbladder. Why is that? The liver clears these microbe poisons. What if your UTI translocated? Obviously the antibiotics haven’t been working so what is the point of pursuing them? Most drugs just make cell wall deficient forms that can then travel without papers thus avoiding immune surveillence. This is above and beyond the impact of the drug itself on heart tissue.
      And here is the big point that i have been trying to get at in this particular post:
      Do you see the importance of this question? If you were given chronic doses of antibiotics for something that was never cultured then you were treating a ghost. Ever heard Candiduria? Candida of the bladder spilling into the urine. NOT a bacteria. NOT sensitive to antibiotics.

    • L March 15, 2019 at 9:51 am Reply

      First I would urge you to find an ND, especially female, because you can treat UTIs without antibotics. I got into this whole mess thanks to being given cipro for a UTI. About 6 months into the horror, when I was seeing a naturopath who was female she gave me a protocol for treating them without antibiotics. I don’t have the exact amounts and they change daily, but it included high doses or A, C, Urinary system support from Herb Pharm and d-mannose.

      As for heart problems, you didn’t say what they were. I ended up with pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart) and of course the first cardiologist I saw wanted to put me on NSAIDS. I refused and took every natural anti-inflammatory out there and there was no change, so I think the NSAIDS would have don’t nothing but cause me more misery. Another suggestion was to drain it…very invasive and would involve more antibiotics and who knows what else. I got VERY lucky and found an integrative cardiologist. (Those are hard to come by!) I drive over 1 1/2 hours each way to see her, but totally worth it. (She was the first MD who, when I relayed everything that had happened to me….and of course she could see I could barely breathe or move…just started taking notes and shaking her head. She never questioned that my complete body wide devastation was from the cipro. So if at all possible I would try to find a cardiologist who takes a more integrative approach, and doesn’t automatically reach for the pills.

      • Patrick Jordan March 15, 2019 at 10:46 am Reply

        Hello Ladies. Mannose looks good on paper for helping with things including and especially candida in the urinary tract, however a few of us literally got so dizzy from it we couldn’t stand up, so I’m not saying not to take it but just be aware that it can have side effects. It would be best to experiment with it as a single supplement away from everything else to see if you can tolerate it. Mannose is different from cranberry in its mode of action so they cannot be compared but if mannose doesn’t work then cranberry can be substituted. It should be pure organic cranberry NOT mixed with anything else since it is often cut with high sugar fruit juices.

      • Leondra Lewis March 22, 2019 at 10:44 pm Reply

        Hello! What did the new cardiologist suggest for you? Has it work?

        • L March 22, 2019 at 11:16 pm

          She just monitored it. Did periodic echos (every 3 months then every 6 months and now once a year) to check the amount of fluid. Suggested supplements like magnesium taurate. Others I can’t recall now. No rush to pharmaceuticals or anything invasive.

  6. Karen H. March 27, 2019 at 10:24 am Reply

    Okay, I am writing again…Why? Because relapse IS REAL. Not only do I have the heart rhythm issues, not only was I given Cipro at age 65 which should have been avoided, not only did it cause miserable pain that required the ER, but now, five years of suffering later, I cannot walk with pain in my back and guess where else? TENDONS! This stuff is poison and doctors, nurses, and patients are NOT listening! No amount of money would make me trade this agony. Lawsuits are not the answer. The answer lies in saying NO when offered these horrific debilitating drugs!!!! Right after, I was on a walker and then crutches for over 2 years….and now this. No one can tell me again “it is usual arthritis”. It isn’t! It just hits. No warning pain. It just hits….. I wish we could give this drug to those who give it to us! I wish we could give it to THEIR families, too. It seems only being inflicted or having someone you love inflicted makes them listen!!!!!! I know this is a horrible thing to say, but when you are staring at the ceiling for weeks and you cannot stand up for longer than a few minutes, this is how you feel. Forget about suicide tendency thoughts on top of everything else through all this!
    What keeps me going? Sounds stupid to say it, but my two pups. I have to care for them as no one else will love these two like I do….that’s it, other wise believe me, I would check out of here pronto…..This crap has gone on now for five years and I am worn out and my tears don’t help. Nothing helps….other than to warn others. I didn’t think it was true about relapse…now I know it IS true. Pharmaceutical companies need to wise up. If little puppies have to be put to sleep because of their agony, isn’t that a clue big enough to make you stop pedaling this crap? But the puppies are put out of their misery….the rest of us have to just lay here….

    • Vee December 4, 2019 at 9:52 pm Reply

      Hope you are doing a lil better

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