Compare Azithromycin vs. Benzamycin

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

Zithromax
(Azithromycin)

Benzamycin
(Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin)

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.Topical treatment for acne. Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin) is a topical combination acne treatment that may work better for people who didn't see an improvement when taking either medicine alone or simply don't want to take pill medication. You need to be careful because it can bleach your hair, clothing and other fabrics. It also needs to be stored in the refrigerator and is only good for three months..
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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 Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin)
54%
20% vs. Zithromax (Azithromycin)
26%
33% vs. Zithromax (Azithromycin)
12%
1% vs. Zithromax (Azithromycin)
Side effects
AzithromycinBenzamycin

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

More about Azithromycin side effects »

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

More about Benzamycin side effects »
How it works
AzithromycinBenzamycin
Zithromax (Azithromycin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin) is a combination topical medicine. Erythromycin (an antibiotic) kills bacteria that cause acne. Benzoyl peroxide works to fight the bacteria and shed acne-affected skin.
Type of medication
AzithromycinBenzamycin
Antibiotic
Macrolide
Prescription only
Acne agent
Antibiotic
Prescription only
Available as
AzithromycinBenzamycin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for (click to learn more)
AzithromycinBenzamycin
Risk factors for serious side effects
AzithromycinBenzamycin
      • History of liver disease
      • History of myasthenia gravis
      Detailed Zithromax (Azithromycin) risks & warnings »
        • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
        • Eczema
        • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
          • Long-term use of Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin)
          Detailed Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          AzithromycinBenzamycin
          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
          CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. 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.
          • Not the best choice if you're pregnant. Benzamycin is categorized as pregnancy Category C (weight risks vs benefits) because of the benzoyl peroxide part.
          Upsides and benefits
          AzithromycinBenzamycin
          • Available in generic.
          • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
          • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
          • 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.
          • Benzamycin works better to reduce bacteria in oil glands and improve overall signs and symptoms of acne than either medicine alone.
          • Reduces bacteria on the skin, which "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
          • Combining an antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide lowers the chances of Benzamycin not working as well over time.
          • Although Benzamycin can irritate the skin, a true skin allergy is rare.
          • Can be used in combination with acne pill medicine if your doctor thinks you need it.
          Downsides and risks
          AzithromycinBenzamycin
          • 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.
          • There's a risk of irritation with anything you apply to your skin and this is no different. Benzamycin, contains a topical antibiotic and can cause redness, peeling, abnormal dryness or stinging, tightening, or burning sensations.
          • It's rare, that a serious allergic reaction would occur, but it's a good idea to test a small area of skin before using on any larger or sensitive areas
          • Can cause severe inflammation of the large intestine (pseudomembranous colitis).
          • Not the best choice if you're pregnant. Benzamycin is categorized as pregnancy Category C (weight risks vs benefits) because of the benzoyl peroxide part.
          • Can cause bleaching of hair and clothing.
          • You'll need to stay out of the sun or apply a sunscreen if you go outdoors.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          AzithromycinBenzamycin
          • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
          • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
          • Space out any antacids with magnesium or aluminum by at least 2 hours.
          • Can take with or without food.
          • Combination medicine you apply to your skin to treat acne.
          • Apply a thin film to clean and dry affected skin twice a day- in the morning and evening.
          • Store in the refrigerator, but don't freeze.
          • The pharmacist mixes the medicine when you pick it up at the drugstore. You'll need to use it within three months of this date or dispose of it properly.
          • Let your doctor know if you notice abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea after starting this medicine.
          • Using a moisturizer that doesn't block your pores (non-comedogenic) may help lessen common side effects of skin dryness and peeling.
          • Taking good care of your skin is an important part of treating acne. Lightly wash with warm water and non-soap-based or gentle cleanser.
          Learn more
          More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about BenzamycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert