Compare doxycycline vs. azithromycin

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

Vibramycin (doxycycline)

Prescription only

Zithromax (azithromycin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Vibramycin (doxycycline) is good for treating many bacterial infections, but can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight and make you more likely to get a sunburn or rash.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 112 reviewsfordoxycycline
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
Upsides
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) is a good alternative for some types of bacterial infections for people who are allergic to penicillin.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available as a liquid for those who have trouble swallowing.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) is safe for people age 65 or older and those who have kidney problems.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) can make some birth control less effective, so you may have to use barrier methods (like condoms) while on it.
  • Vitamins, iron supplements, or antacids can't be taken at the same time as Vibramycin (doxycycline).
  • Vibramycin (doxycycline) can cause severe diarrhea that is usually watery and bloody, as late as up to 2 months after finishing the medicine.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended-release liquid
Price
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Reviews
112 reviews so far
49%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?

Leave a review
909 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Vibramycin (doxycycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
3possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Color changes in teeth of young children and unborn babies
    • Age 8 or younger
    • Women in their last half of pregnancy
    • Infants
  • Severe diarrhea
    • Using Vibramycin (doxycycline) for a long period of time
  • Sunburn or rash
    • Being in the sun for a long period of time
    • Using tanning salons
  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)
    • Women who can potentially or want to become pregnant
    • Pregnant women
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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
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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.