Compare Azithromycin vs. Cleocin

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

Zithromax
(azithromycin)

Cleocin T
(clindamycin phosphate)

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. Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and tampons for the period your doctor tells you to. The topical form can cause skin sensitivity and irritation.
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 Cleocin
57%
+17% better vs. Azithromycin
43%
+16% better vs. Azithromycin
19%
+8% better vs. Azithromycin
115 reviews
Have you used Cleocin T (clindamycin phosphate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AzithromycinCleocin
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Vomiting 6%
  • Rash 2%
  • Vaginitis 2%
More Azithromycin side effects »
  • Any side effect 21%
  • Vaginal moniliasis 8%
  • Vulvovaginitis 6%
  • Vulvovaginal disorder 3%
  • Moniliasis (body) 2%
  • Fungal infection 2%
More Cleocin side effects »
How it works
AzithromycinCleocin
Zithromax (Azithromycin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is an antibiotic and acne medicine. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.
Type of medication
AzithromycinCleocin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AzithromycinCleocin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
  • Topical
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Foam
  • Vaginal cream
  • Vaginal suppository
  • Injection
Used for
AzithromycinCleocin
Risk factors for serious side effects
AzithromycinCleocin
  • History of liver disease
  • History of myasthenia gravis
Detailed Zithromax (azithromycin) risks & warnings »
  • History of liver disease
Detailed Cleocin T (clindamycin phosphate) 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 haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Food
AzithromycinCleocin
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
AzithromycinCleocin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Pain
AzithromycinCleocin
  • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
  • The forms taken by mouth can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Upsides and benefits
AzithromycinCleocin
  • 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.
  • Topical form treats acne.
  • Available in different oral forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Available in forms to treat skin infections and vaginal infections.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
AzithromycinCleocin
  • 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.
  • Have to take the oral forms with a full glass of liquid or with food since it can cause irritation in your stomach and esophagus.
  • If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and not use tampons for the period your doctor tells you to.
  • If you're allergic to aspirin, your doctor may have to prescribe an alternate.
  • If you have to take live vaccines, talk to your doctor when to take them since Clindamycin can make it less effective.
  • If you're taking the topical form, it can cause sensitivity and irritation.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AzithromycinCleocin
  • 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.
  • The forms taken by mouth can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
  • Store the suspension at room temperature.
  • If you're using the topical form, it can take a few weeks to see the full effect.
  • Keep the topical form out of your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If you're using the topical form, Don't put makeup or bandages over it.
  • If you're using the vaginal form, don't have sex before the doctor tells you it's ok.
Learn more
More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CleocinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cleocin T (clindamycin phosphate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it