Compare Azithromycin vs. Bactrim

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Zithromax
(Azithromycin)

Bactrim
(Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim)

Kills bacteria. Zithromax (Azithromycin) is good for treating many bacterial infections. It is also available as generic. Talk to your doctor if you've ever had liver disease, myasthenia gravis, or on medications to thin the blood, as the doctor may write an alternative.Kills bacteria. Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. However, you can be more likely to sunburn. Also, it can cause birth defects, so talk to your doctor if you're pregnant.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.443093922651934Azithromycin
Reviews for Zithromax (Azithromycin)
74%
of people say Zithromax (Azithromycin) is worth it
59%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim)
59%
15% vs. Zithromax (Azithromycin)
50%
9% vs. Zithromax (Azithromycin)
22%
11% vs. Zithromax (Azithromycin)
Side effects
AzithromycinBactrim

The Azithromycin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Azithromycin side effects »

The Bactrim FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Bactrim side effects »
How it works
AzithromycinBactrim
Zithromax (Azithromycin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) is a combination antibiotic that contains sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making proteins and other chemicals that keep them alive.
Type of medication
AzithromycinBactrim
Antibiotic
Macrolide
Prescription only
Antibiotic
Sulfonamide
Prescription only
Available as
AzithromycinBactrim
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
AzithromycinBactrim
Risk factors for serious side effects
AzithromycinBactrim
      • History of liver disease
      • History of myasthenia gravis
      Detailed Zithromax (Azithromycin) risks & warnings »
              Detailed Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) risks & warnings »
              Pregnancy category
              AzithromycinBactrim
              BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

              Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

              See the FDA package insert
              DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

              Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

              See the FDA package insert
              Alcohol
              No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
              Food
              • Can be taken with or without food.
              • Can take with or without food.
              No specific food-related info.
              Kidneys and liver
              No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
              Sex
              No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
              Sleep
              No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
              Weight
              No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
              Upsides and benefits
              AzithromycinBactrim
              • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
              • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
              • Can be taken with or without food.
              • Available in generic.
              • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
              • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
              • Less resistance seen to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see if Bactrim responds to your infection.
              • Available in generic.
              • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
              Downsides and risks
              AzithromycinBactrim
              • Must space out antacids by at least 2 hours.
              • Has to be used with caution in people who've had liver disease.
              • Can't be used in people who've had myasthenia gravis.
              • Must be used with caution in people who are on medications to thin the blood (anticoagulants) because of increased risk of bleeding.
              • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
              • Makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
              • Has to be taken with plenty of liquids.
              • May cause birth defects.
              • Can cause diarrhea.
              Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
              AzithromycinBactrim
              • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
              • Space out any antacids with magnesium or aluminum by at least 2 hours.
              • Can take with or without food.
              • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
              • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
              • Can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
              • Drink plenty of liquids when taking the medication.
              • Can cause rash.
              • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
              Learn more
              More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              More about BactrimSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert