Compare Biaxin vs. Levaquin

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

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Biaxin (clarithromycin)

Prescription only

Levaquin (levofloxacin)

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 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
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.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
90 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
31%
saidit'sa big hassle

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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
The Levaquin (levofloxacin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • 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