Compare azithromycin vs. Erygel

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

Zithromax (azithromycin)

Prescription only

Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Zithromax (azithromycin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available in generic form. However, it may cause headache, dizziness, or rash.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 909 reviewsforazithromycin
Topical treatment for acne.

Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) is a very common acne treatment you apply to the skin that may work better when combined with other topical medicines.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 93 reviewsforErygel
Upsides
  • Available as a generic in the tablet and suspension form.
  • The suspension can be used if you have problems swallowing.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Bacteria is less resistant to this antibiotic, meaning that Zithromax (azithromycin) will fight off the bacteria better. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
  • Immediate release form can be taken with or without food.
  • Applying erythromycin to the skin reduces the amount of acne bacteria and "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
  • Available in a gel formulation which may be better if your skin is very oily.
  • Better choice if you're pregnant. erythromycin is categorized as pregnancy Category B (likely safe) as compared to similar topical medicines that are Category C (weigh risks vs benefits).
Downsides
  • Must space out antacids by at least 2 hours.
  • Use with caution if you have liver disease.
  • Must be used with caution if you are on medications to thin the blood (anticoagulants) because of increased risk of bleeding.
  • There's a risk of irritation with anything you apply to your skin and this is no different. erythromycin, like other topical antibiotics, can cause skin irritation and may appear as 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
  • Studies show it works better when combined with other topical medicines to fight acne and reduce the risk of it losing its effectiveness over time.
  • Can cause severe inflammation of the large intestine (pseudomembranous colitis)
  • Stop using if you don't notice any improvement in your acne after 6-8 weeks. The most time you can use it is three months.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended-release liquid
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Topical solution
Price
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Reviews
909 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?

Leave a review
93 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
34%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
1possible side effects
  • Burning
    25%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Diarrhea caused by bacteria (Clostridium difficile)
  • Liver damage
    • History of liver disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
    • Myasthenia gravis
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Abnormal heartbeat
    • QT prolongation
    • Arrhythmia
    • Drugs that cause prolonged QT interval
    • Abnormal electrolytes
    • Elderly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Allergic reaction
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Development of more serious infections
See more detailed risks and warnings