New Findings in COVID-19 Era: Unsafe Drug Interactions; Insufficient Vitamin D Levels

September 22, 2020

Study suggests potential COVID-19 medication treatment azithromycin isn’t safe when taken with other drugs

While azithromycin is currently being considered as a treatment for COVID-19, a new study from the University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy reveals that taking this antibiotic together with other drugs could increase cardiac events by 40%.
These other drugs include blood pressure medications, some antidepressants, anti-malaria drugs, opioid medications and muscle relaxers – all of which affect the electrical impulses of the heart. Cardiac events include fainting, heart palpitations and even cardiac arrest.

Taking the drug alone does not produce these risks, according to the study.

The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.

Patients with vitamin D deficiency twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 in recent study
As health experts continue to learn about COVID-19 infections and who may be at higher risk, a recent study focused on vitamin D levels.

The September 3 JAMA study found that patients with vitamin D deficiency were 1.77 times more likely to test positive for the virus than patients with sufficient vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important for the immune system and long before the pandemic, supplements for this vitamin had been known to help lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections.

A whopping one-half of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient, with higher rates among Black and Hispanic populations, as well as individuals who live in areas where it is difficult to obtain the needed amount of sun exposure.
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