Compare Bactrim vs. azithromycin

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

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Kills bacteria.

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. However, you can be more likely to sunburn.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 473 reviewsforBactrim
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
  • Widely available as a generic product and in a variety of formulations (tablet, capsule, suspension).
  • Works well to treat many types of bacterial infections
  • 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
  • Makes you sensitive to the sun.
  • Can upset your stomach
  • Drink plenty of water or fluids to avoid harming your kidneys
  • May cause birth defects
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended-release liquid
Price
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Reviews
473 reviews so far
59%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)?

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 Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) 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
  • Diarrhea
  • Sunburn
  • Rash
  • Harm to fetus
  • Lower kidney function
    • Elderly
    • Taking other medicines that lower kidney function
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