Compare Cipro vs. Azithromycin

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

Cipro
(Ciprofloxacin)

Zithromax
(Azithromycin)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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5.17Cipro
Reviews for Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
63%
of people (All ages) say Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is worth it
53%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
755 reviews
Have you used Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zithromax (Azithromycin)
74%
+11% vs. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
59%
+6% vs. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
11%
+6% vs. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
909 reviews
Have you used Zithromax (Azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CiproAzithromycin

The Cipro FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Cipro side effects »

The Azithromycin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Azithromycin side effects »
How it works
CiproAzithromycin
Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Zithromax (Azithromycin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.
Type of medication
CiproAzithromycin
Antibiotic
Fluoroquinolone
Prescription only
Antibiotic
Macrolide
Prescription only
Available as
CiproAzithromycin
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Infusion (IV)
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
Used for (click to learn more)
CiproAzithromycin
Risk factors for serious side effects
CiproAzithromycin
  • Over 60 years of age
  • On long-term steroid use
  • Heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • Myasthenia gravis
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • History of liver disease
  • History of myasthenia gravis
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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

Food
CiproAzithromycin
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Can take with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
CiproAzithromycin
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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
CiproAzithromycin
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • 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.
  • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Upsides and benefits
CiproAzithromycin
  • 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
CiproAzithromycin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CiproAzithromycin
  • 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.
  • Limit your caffeine intake while taking this medication.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
  • Space out any antacids with magnesium or aluminum by at least 2 hours.
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
Learn more
More about CiproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zithromax (Azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it