Compare Levaquin vs. Biaxin

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

Levaquin (levofloxacin)

Prescription only

Biaxin (clarithromycin)

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.

Biaxin (clarithromycin) is a good first-choice medicine to treat most common respiratory infections. Side-effects are common, but mild.

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.
  • Good first-choice treatment for respiratory infections.
  • Compared to similar medicines, Biaxin (clarithromycin) is better tolerated.
  • Available as an extended-release pill for convenient once daily dosing and as a liquid for trouble swallowing pills.
  • Children as young as 6 months can use Biaxin (clarithromycin) safely and effectively.
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.
  • Can cause changes in taste.
  • Can cause abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Biaxin (clarithromycin), can interact with other medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you are taking medicines for heart problems or gout.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems, Biaxin (clarithromycin) might not be a good option.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
90 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
31%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Levaquin (levofloxacin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
7possible side effects
  • Nausea
    12%
  • Vomiting
    8%
  • Abnormal changes in taste
    4%
  • Abdominal pain
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Headache
    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
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
    • History of heart arrhythmias
    • Drugs that cause prolonged QT interval
    • Abnormal electrolytes
    • Elderly
  • Liver toxicity
  • Serious drug interactions
  • Severe diarrhea caused by bacteria
    • Antibiotic use
  • Birth defects
    • Pregnancy
See more detailed risks and warnings