Compare Levaquin vs. azithromycin

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

Levaquin (levofloxacin)

Prescription only

Zithromax (azithromycin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Levaquin (levofloxacin) effectively treats different types of bacterial infections, but it is relatively more expensive than some of its alternatives.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 90 reviewsforLevaquin
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
  • Available as a generic medicine.
  • Liquid form of Levaquin (levofloxacin) is available for those with trouble swallowing.
  • Treats a variety of bacterial infections.
  • Take only once a day.
  • Can take pill form with or without food.
  • 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
  • People with diabetes need to check their blood sugar levels regularly while taking Levaquin (levofloxacin).
  • Can't take Levaquin (levofloxacin) at the same time as antacids or vitamins.
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin) can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight and make you more likely to get a rash.
  • Relatively more expensive compared to similar alternatives.
  • Associated with serious and some potentially life-threatening side effects.
  • 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
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended-release liquid
Price
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Reviews
90 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
31%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?

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 Levaquin (levofloxacin) 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
  • Tendon rupture and inflammation
    • People over age 60
    • Taking steroid medicine
    • Those with kidney, heart, or lung transplants
  • Myasthenia gravis
    • Those with a history of myasthenia gravis
  • Diarrhea
  • Nerve damage
  • Changes in mood and behavior
    • Those with a history of depression
  • Effects on heartbeat
    • Those with a history of heart rhythm problems
    • Taking other medicines that also affect your heart rhythm
    • Older people
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