Clarithromycin link to increased risk of cardiac death

The research found clarithromycin was associated with a 76% higher risk of cardiac death compared with penicillin V.

The cohort study included 160,297 adults aged 40–74 years who received seven day courses of clarithromycin, 588,988 who had roxithromycin and 4,355,309 who had penicillin V.

A total of 285 cardiac deaths occurred during use of the drugs – 18 among people on clarithromycin, 32 among those on roxithromycin and 235 among people on penicillin V.

The adjusted absolute risk difference for current use of clarithromycin, compared with use of penicillin V, was small at 37 cardiac deaths per one million treatment courses. 

The association was most pronounced among women. 

Past use of clarithromycin was not associated with an increased risk of cardiac death, and no increased risk was seen with current use of roxithromycin. 

Lead author Dr Henrik Svanstrom, a statistician from the