Compare azithromycin vs. Flagyl

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

Zithromax (azithromycin)

Prescription only

Flagyl (metronidazole)

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
Treats and prevents bacterial infections.

Flagyl (metronidazole) is very good at treating certain bacterial infections, but you can't have any alcohol while on it since it'll make you throw up a lot.

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.
  • Flagyl (metronidazole) is good at killing a variety of bacteria.
  • Unlike many other antibiotics, Flagyl (metronidazole) is less likely to make bacteria resistant to it.
  • Most forms are available as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
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.
  • You can't drink alcohol while on Flagyl (metronidazole), and for at least 3 days after you finish it.
  • Side effects can include nausea, headache, stomach upset, and a metallic taste in your mouth.
  • If you're taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time, there's a risk of more side effects, such as nerve damage.
  • If you're on blood thinners, let your doctor know. Flagyl (metronidazole) can interact with your medicines and make you more likely to bleed.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended-release liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
909 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
13possible side effects
  • Headache
    18%
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Metallic taste
    9%
  • Genital itching
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Stomach problems
    4%
  • Overgrowth of yeast
    3%
  • Stuffy nose
    3%
  • Menstrual cramps
    3%
  • Abnormal urine
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
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
  • Seizure or brain problems
    • Taking high doses of Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time
  • Nerve damage
    • Taking high doses of Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time
  • Cancer
  • New infection while taking Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) incorrectly
  • Interaction with alcohol
    • Drinking alcohol while taking Flagyl (metronidazole)
See more detailed risks and warnings