Compare Doxycycline vs. Azithromycin

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

Vibramycin
(doxycycline)

Zithromax
(azithromycin)

Treats bacterial infections. Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is good for treating many bacterial infections. It is also available as generic. However, it can make birth control pills less effective. You also have to protect yourself against sunburn.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.27Doxycycline
Reviews for Doxycycline
49%
of people (All ages) say Doxycycline is worth it
36%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
112 reviews
Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Azithromycin
74%
-25% worse vs. Doxycycline
59%
-23% worse vs. Doxycycline
11%
-13% worse vs. Doxycycline
909 reviews
Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
  • Any adverse event 40%
  • Nausea 13%
  • Vomiting 8%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Bacterial vaginitis 3%
  • Headache 2%
  • Upper abdominal pain 2%
  • Vaginal yeast infection 2%
More Doxycycline side effects »
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Vomiting 6%
  • Rash 2%
  • Vaginitis 2%
More Azithromycin side effects »
How it works
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic. It stops 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
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
Used for
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
Risk factors for serious side effects
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
  • Age 8 years or younger
  • Using oral birth control pills
  • Long antibiotic treatment period
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Vibramycin (doxycycline) risks & warnings »
  • History of liver disease
  • History of myasthenia gravis
Detailed Zithromax (azithromycin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but 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
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
No food related info.
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
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
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
No pain related info.
  • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Upsides and benefits
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
  • Can't be used in pregnant women and children under 8 years old.
  • Makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Has to be taken with plenty of water and food and you have to stay upright for 30 minutes afterwards to avoid stomach irritation.
  • Can make birth control less effective.
  • 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
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
  • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
  • If you're using birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
  • Wear sunblock if you have to go out into the sun since your skin can become more sensitive to sunburn.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Space out any vitamins by at least two hours.
  • Take with plenty of food and liquids.
  • Don't take any medications with bismuth (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate) while taking this medication.
  • Don't lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.
  • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Space out any antacids with magnesium or aluminum by at least 2 hours.
  • Can take with or without food.
Learn more
More about DoxycyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it