Compare Biaxin vs. Keflex

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

Biaxin (clarithromycin)

Prescription only

Keflex (cephalexin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Biaxin (clarithromycin) is a good first-choice medicine to treat most common respiratory infections. Side-effects are common, but mild.

Treats bacterial infections.

Keflex (cephalexin) is good for treating many bacterial infections, and is available as a generic.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 686 reviewsforKeflex
Upsides
  • Good first-choice treatment for respiratory infections.
  • Compared to similar medicines, Biaxin (clarithromycin) is better tolerated.
  • Available as an extended-release pill for convenient once daily dosing and as a liquid for trouble swallowing pills.
  • Children as young as 6 months can use Biaxin (clarithromycin) safely and effectively.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Generally few side effects compared with other antibiotics.
Downsides
  • Can cause changes in taste.
  • Can cause abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Biaxin (clarithromycin), can interact with other medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you are taking medicines for heart problems or gout.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems, Biaxin (clarithromycin) might not be a good option.
  • Can cause diarrhea.
  • You may need to take Keflex (cephalexin) 2 to 4 times a day, which can be hard to remember.
  • If you're allergic to penicillins or other antibiotics, you might not be able to take this medicine.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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686 reviews so far
64%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
7possible side effects
  • Nausea
    12%
  • Vomiting
    8%
  • Abnormal changes in taste
    4%
  • Abdominal pain
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Headache
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Keflex (cephalexin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
    • History of heart arrhythmias
    • Drugs that cause prolonged QT interval
    • Abnormal electrolytes
    • Elderly
  • Liver toxicity
  • Serious drug interactions
  • Severe diarrhea caused by bacteria
    • Antibiotic use
  • Birth defects
    • Pregnancy
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Diarrhea
  • New infections while taking Keflex (cephalexin)
    • Weakened immune system
    • Not taking Keflex (cephalexin) correctly
  • Allergic reaction
    • History of penicillin or cephalosporin allergies
See more detailed risks and warnings