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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.223300970873787Doxycycline
Reviews for Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
50%
of people say Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is worth it
34%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Zithromax (Azithromycin)
74%
+24% vs. Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
59%
+25% vs. Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
11%
+12% vs. Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
Side effects
DoxycyclineAzithromycin

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

More about Doxycycline 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
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
Antibiotic
Tetracycline
Prescription only
Antibiotic
Macrolide
Prescription only
Available as
DoxycyclineAzithromycin
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
Used for (click to learn more)
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
      • Women of childbearing age
      • Overweight or obese
      • Taking isotretinoin (Accutane)
      Detailed Vibramycin (Doxycycline) risks & warnings »
          • History of liver disease
          • History of myasthenia gravis
          Detailed Zithromax (Azithromycin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          DoxycyclineAzithromycin
          DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          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.

          See the FDA package insert
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          • Has to be taken with plenty of water and food and you have to stay upright for 30 minutes afterwards to avoid stomach irritation.
          • Take with plenty of food and liquids.
          • Can be taken with or without food.
          • Can take with or without food.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          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.
          • 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
          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
          • 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.
          • 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.
          • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
          • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
          Learn more
          More about DoxycyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert