FDA Warns Against Stem Cell Transplant Patients’ Use of Azithromycin for Lung Condition

August 6, 2018

The FDA issued a warning against long-term use of the antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) to prevent certain inflammatory lung conditions in blood or lymph node cancer patients.

The drug is not approved for treatment of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, according to the agency, and should not be prescribed for patients with the condition who undergo donor stem cell transplants due to what the agency says is an increased risk of cancer relapse and death.

French researchers identified the increased risk during a clinical trial investigating the drug’s effectiveness to prevent the condition, and concluded that the risk of long-term exposure may exceed the benefits after stem cell transplantation.

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