Compare Cipro vs. penicillin

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

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Cipro (ciprofloxacin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a good, cheap antibiotic that treats many types of bacterial infections, but it interacts with some food and drugs.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 755 reviewsforCipro
Treats bacterial infections.

Penicillin VK (penicillin) is good at treating strep throat and is cheap, however, it can only be used for certain infections as many bacteria have developed resistance to it.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1297 reviewsforpenicillin
Upsides
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is available in generic.
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) comes in different forms, including intravenous (IV) injection.
  • Compared to alternatives, Penicillin VK (penicillin) is the preferred choice for treating strep throat infections.
  • This medicine is available as a generic, which is cheap.
  • It’s also available in different forms: pill and liquid.
Downsides
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) should be used with caution if you have kidney problems.
  • If you drink caffeine while on Cipro (ciprofloxacin), you may notice increased effects of the caffeine.
  • Some bacteria have developed resistance to Cipro (ciprofloxacin).
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) can interact with many other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist what medications, over-the-counter products, and supplements you are taking before starting Cipro (ciprofloxacin).
  • Many bacteria are resistant to Penicillin VK (penicillin), so it only works for certain infection typically in ear, nose, and throat.
  • Penicillin VK (penicillin) has a bitter taste. Children might not like the taste.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Extended release pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
755 reviews so far
63%
saidit'sworth it
53%
saiditworked well
17%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?

Leave a review
1297 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
52%
saiditworked well
12%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Penicillin VK (penicillin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
2possible side effects
  • Nausea
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Penicillin VK (penicillin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Tendon rupture
    • People over age 60
    • Taking steroid medicine
    • Those with kidney, heart, or lung transplants
  • Myasthenia gravis
    • Myasthenia gravis
  • Diarrhea
  • Nerve damage
  • Central nervous system effects
    • Central nervous system disorders
    • Seizures
  • Heart rhythm problems
    • Use with other QT prolonging drugs
    • History of heart disease
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Diarrhea
    • Taking Penicillin VK (penicillin) for a long time
  • Interaction with birth control pills
  • Allergic reaction
    • History of severe allergic reaction to Penicillin VK (penicillin)
    • Cephalosporin medication allergy
See more detailed risks and warnings