Here is some friendly consumer advice from Goldberg Finnegan, LLC.

If you (or your children) have been prescribed the Z-Pak by your doctor, DON’T CONSUME ENERGY DRINKS WHILE TAKING the Z-PAK. Why do I say this?  Both energy drinks and Azithromycin likely cause disturbances in heart rhythm (QT interval).

The FDA has not yet made this connection, but the scientific studies are indeed out there that both energy drinks and Azithromycin disturb heart rhythm. Seems to me that consumption of both at the same time could be a very deadly combination.

1. On March 12, 2013 the FDA warned that Azithromycin (aka Z-Pack, Zithromax, Z Max) can lead to deadly heart rhythms for some. The FDA Warning explains that Z Pack “…can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm.” then on May 2, 2013 an article was published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Cardiovascular Risks with Azithromycin and Other Antibacterial Drugs.” the article explained that a 2012 observational study showed that the risk of death from any cause and from cardiovascular causes associated with Azithromycin is greater than those associated with Amoxicillin.

2. In March 2013 there was a scientific research presentation at the American Heart Association Meeting in New Orleans indicating that “Energy Drinks” may increase blood pressure and disturb the heart rhythm. Apparently, the data presented shows that the QT interval was 10 milliseconds longer for those who consumed energy drinks. (If the QT interval is too long it can cause irregular heartbeat or death).

3. According to the New York Times, doctors wrote 55.3 Million prescriptions for Azithromycin (Z Pack) last year.

4. According to a Congressional Report about Energy Drinks, Energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, Full Throttle and Rockstar Energy Drink are consumed by 31% of 12-17 year olds, and by 22% of 25-35 year olds. Basically, a ton of children and young adults are drinking Energy Drinks and Energy Shots.

5. There has been an astronomical rise in Emergency Room Visits due to energy drink consumption in the past several years. In fact the number doubled from 2007 to 2011. (10,068 in 2007 and 20,783 in 2011 according to a Government Report). See SAMHSA Report.

6. Since both the Z-Pack and Energy Drinks both cause a rise in the heart’s QT interval, it seems to me that anyone who is on the Z-Pak (Azithromycin) should not consume energy drinks while taking the pills (Could be a “double whammy”).

I have no idea why the FDA and other medical societies/ government agencies have not already warned about this combined danger. Maybe I am wrong about this connection. I doubt it though.

I’m concerned that the left hand at the FDA that claims to be looking into the dangers of Energy Drinks, is not talking to the right hand at the FDA that has already warned of the dangers of Azithromycin. The evidence is out there but those we count on to protect us (FDA/Congress) seem to have not yet connected the dots (sound familiar?).

My advice to friends, family and anyone else who will listen – DON’T CONSUME ENERGY DRINKS WHILE ON Z PACK!!!