Compare Biaxin vs. Flagyl

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

ADVERTISEMENT

Biaxin (clarithromycin)

Prescription only

Flagyl (metronidazole)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

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

Treats and prevents bacterial infections.

Flagyl (metronidazole) is very good at treating certain bacterial infections, but you can't have any alcohol while on it since it'll make you throw up a lot.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Flagyl (metronidazole) is good at killing a variety of bacteria.
  • Unlike many other antibiotics, Flagyl (metronidazole) is less likely to make bacteria resistant to it.
  • Most forms are available as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • You can't drink alcohol while on Flagyl (metronidazole), and for at least 3 days after you finish it.
  • Side effects can include nausea, headache, stomach upset, and a metallic taste in your mouth.
  • If you're taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time, there's a risk of more side effects, such as nerve damage.
  • If you're on blood thinners, let your doctor know. Flagyl (metronidazole) can interact with your medicines and make you more likely to bleed.
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Injection
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
Not enough review data.Leave a review
Side effects
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
13possible side effects
  • Headache
    18%
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Metallic taste
    9%
  • Genital itching
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Stomach problems
    4%
  • Overgrowth of yeast
    3%
  • Stuffy nose
    3%
  • Menstrual cramps
    3%
  • Abnormal urine
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Seizure or brain problems
    • Taking high doses of Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time
  • Nerve damage
    • Taking high doses of Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time
  • Cancer
  • New infection while taking Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) incorrectly
  • Interaction with alcohol
    • Drinking alcohol while taking Flagyl (metronidazole)
See more detailed risks and warnings