Compare Levaquin vs. Azithromycin

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

Levaquin
(levofloxacin)

Zithromax
(azithromycin)

Kills bacteria. Levaquin (Levofloxacin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as generic. However, it can cause damage to your tendons, and make your skin more sensitive to the sun.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
4.41Levaquin
Reviews for Levaquin
53%
of people (All ages) say Levaquin is worth it
40%
say it works well
31%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Azithromycin
74%
-21% worse vs. Levaquin
59%
-19% worse vs. Levaquin
11%
-20% worse vs. Levaquin
909 reviews
Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • Nausea 7%
  • Headache 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Consitpation 3%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Rash 2%
More Levaquin side effects »
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Vomiting 6%
  • Rash 2%
  • Vaginitis 2%
More Azithromycin side effects »
How it works
LevaquinAzithromycin
Levaquin (Levofloxacin) is an antibiotic. It kills 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
LevaquinAzithromycin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
Used for
LevaquinAzithromycin
Risk factors for serious side effects
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • Over 60 years of age
  • On long-term steroid use
  • Heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • History of liver disease
  • Seizures
Detailed Levaquin (levofloxacin) risks & warnings »
  • History of liver disease
  • History of myasthenia gravis
Detailed Zithromax (azithromycin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. 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
LevaquinAzithromycin
No food related info.
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • 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.
  • 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
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • If you notice redness/inflammation, pain or swelling in your joints or muscles, especially in the Achilles tendon, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Talk to your doctor immediately if you start to feel burning, tingling, numbness, pain or you can't tolerate heat or cold. This could be a sign of nerve damage. It can happen as soon as you start taking the medication and may not go away if you stop it.
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Upsides and benefits
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • 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
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • Must be used with caution in people over 60 years of age, or who have had either an organ transplant or on long-term steroid use due to possible tendon rupture.
  • Levofloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can't be used if you've ever had myasthenia gravis.
  • You have to space out any medications with aluminum, magnesium or zinc by at least 2 hours.
  • Can cause changes in taste, headaches, and insomnia.
  • 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
LevaquinAzithromycin
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun.
  • Take the medication exactly how the doctor tells you to.
  • Take this medication with plenty of fluids.
  • Space out any medications containing aluminum, magnesium or zinc by at least 2 hours.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Can cause changes in taste, headaches and insomnia.
  • 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 LevaquinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AzithromycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zithromax (azithromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it