Compare Doxycycline vs. Penicillin

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

Vibramycin
(Doxycycline)

Penicillin Vk
(Penicillin)

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. Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. You may need to use another form of birth control along with your birth control pills. It's also best taken on an empty stomach but it can cause an upset stomach.
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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 Penicillin Vk (Penicillin)
71%
+21% vs. Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
52%
+18% vs. Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
12%
+11% vs. Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
Side effects
DoxycyclinePenicillin

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

More about Doxycycline side effects »

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

More about Penicillin side effects »
How it works
DoxycyclinePenicillin
Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic. It stops bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
DoxycyclinePenicillin
Antibiotic
Tetracycline
Prescription only
Antibiotic
Penicillin
Prescription only
Available as
DoxycyclinePenicillin
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
DoxycyclinePenicillin
Risk factors for serious side effects
DoxycyclinePenicillin
  • 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 »
          • Prior severe allergic reaction to Penicillin Vk (Penicillin)
          Detailed Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          DoxycyclinePenicillin
          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
          NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

          The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

          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.
          • Try to take it on an empty stomach. If this gives you an upset stomach, take it with 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
          DoxycyclinePenicillin
          • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
          • 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.
          • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
          • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
          • Available in generic.
          • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
          Downsides and risks
          DoxycyclinePenicillin
          • 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.
          • Many bacteria have developed resistance. Your doctor may run tests to see if Penicillin will work on your infection.
          • Can make birth control pills less effective.
          • Best taken on an empty stomach, but can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          DoxycyclinePenicillin
          • 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.
          • 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.
          • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
          • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
          • If you're taking birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
          • Try to take it on an empty stomach. If this gives you an upset stomach, take it with food.
          • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
          Learn more
          More about DoxycyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about PenicillinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert