Compare Biaxin vs. Zymaxid

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

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Biaxin (clarithromycin)

Prescription only

Zymaxid (gatifloxacin)

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 eye infections.

Zymaxid (gatifloxacin) effectively treats pink eye caused by bacteria, but must be applied multiple times a day.

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.
  • Zymaxid (gatifloxacin) effectively treats pink eye.
  • Directly applying Zymaxid (gatifloxacin) to the eye(s) helps you avoid systemic side effects such as diarrhea and sun sensitivity.
  • Inexpensive generic Zymaxid (gatifloxacin) drops are available.
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.
  • Requires frequent applications, especially during the first few days of treatment.
  • Directly applying Zymaxid (gatifloxacin) to the eyes can be irritating.
  • Must be applied more frequently than some alternatives.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Eye drops
Price
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Reviews
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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 Zymaxid (gatifloxacin) 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
  • Allergy to ingredients
    • Allergies to quinolone antibiotics such as Levaquin and Cipro.
  • Risk for contamination
  • Not to be used with contact lenses
  • For use topically in the eyes only
  • Risk of infection
    • Prolonged use
See more detailed risks and warnings