Compare doxycycline vs. penicillin

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

Vibramycin (doxycycline)

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.

Penicillin VK (penicillin) is good at treating strep throat and is cheap, however, it can only be used for certain infections as many bacteria have developed resistance to it.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1297 reviewsforpenicillin
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.
  • Compared to alternatives, Penicillin VK (penicillin) is the preferred choice for treating strep throat infections.
  • This medicine is available as a generic, which is cheap.
  • It’s also available in different forms: pill and liquid.
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.
  • Many bacteria are resistant to Penicillin VK (penicillin), so it only works for certain infection typically in ear, nose, and throat.
  • Penicillin VK (penicillin) has a bitter taste. Children might not like the taste.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • 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
1297 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
52%
saiditworked well
12%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Penicillin VK (penicillin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Vibramycin (doxycycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Penicillin VK (penicillin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
    • Taking Penicillin VK (penicillin) for a long time
  • Interaction with birth control pills
  • Allergic reaction
    • History of severe allergic reaction to Penicillin VK (penicillin)
    • Cephalosporin medication allergy
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.