Compare Azithromycin vs. Cipro

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

Zithromax
(azithromycin)

Cipro
(ciprofloxacin)

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. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is a good and cheap antibiotic to treat many types of bacterial infections. However, you have to reduce your caffeine intake, and have to protect yourself from the sun.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.45Azithromycin
Reviews for Azithromycin
74%
of people (All ages) say Azithromycin is worth it
59%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
909 reviews
Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Cipro
63%
+11% better vs. Azithromycin
53%
+6% better vs. Azithromycin
17%
+6% better vs. Azithromycin
755 reviews
Have you used Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AzithromycinCipro
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Vomiting 6%
  • Rash 2%
  • Vaginitis 2%
More Azithromycin side effects »
  • Any musculosketal side effect 14%
  • Any side effect 41%
  • Any musculoskeletal side effect 9%
  • Any neurological side effect 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Any gastrointestinal side effect 15%
  • Any serious side effect 8%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
More Cipro side effects »
How it works
AzithromycinCipro
Zithromax (Azithromycin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.
Type of medication
AzithromycinCipro
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AzithromycinCipro
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Infusion (iv)
Used for
AzithromycinCipro
Risk factors for serious side effects
AzithromycinCipro
  • History of liver disease
  • History of myasthenia gravis
Detailed Zithromax (azithromycin) risks & warnings »
  • Over 60 years of age
  • On long-term steroid use
  • Heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • Myasthenia gravis
Detailed Cipro (ciprofloxacin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

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.

Food
AzithromycinCipro
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
AzithromycinCipro
  • There have been reports of liver damage that can require hospitalization or can cause death. These have been rare. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain in your abdomen, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark colored urine.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
AzithromycinCipro
  • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
  • If you notice redness/inflammation, pain or swelling in your joints or muscles, especially in the Achilles tendon, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Talk to your doctor immediately if you start to feel burning, tingling, numbness, pain or you can't tolerate heat or cold. This could be a sign of nerve damage and it can happen as soon as you start taking the medication and may not go away if you stop it.
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
Upsides and benefits
AzithromycinCipro
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
AzithromycinCipro
  • 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.
  • Must be used with caution in people over 60 years of age, or who have had either an organ transplant or on long-term steroid use due to possible tendon rupture.
  • If you have caffeine while on Ciprofloxacin, you may noticed increased effects of the caffeine.
  • Ciprofloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can't be used if you've ever had myasthenia gravis.
  • Can cause diarrhea.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AzithromycinCipro
  • 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.
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun.
  • Take the medication exactly how the doctor tells you to.
  • Avoid taking this by itself with dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) or with juice with calcium.
  • Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after any antacids with magnesium or aluminum or with any vitamins with calcium, iron or zinc.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Limit your caffeine intake while taking this medication.
Learn more
More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CiproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it