Azithromycin vs Amoxicillin: Which Antibiotic is Right for You?

Monali Sharma
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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azithromycin vs amoxicillin

Antibiotics are generally safe to use.

These medicines are used to fight bacterial infections in people. 

Antibiotics destroy the bacteria or make it difficult for the bacteria to multiply or grow.

In a study published by Scott W. Olesen et al. on NIH, in 2011, around 34% of people received an antibiotic, and 10% of people received 57% of all antibiotic prescriptions.

Azithromycin and Amoxicillin are two of the most common antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.

You can read the detailed comparison of the medications in this article.

Overview:

FactorsAzithromycinAmoxicillin
Brand nameZithromaxAmoxil
Approval by FDA24th May 200216th May 2000
Class of medicineMacrolide antibioticsPenicillin-like Antibiotics
FormulationTablets, Suspension, Injection, Eye dropsTablets, Injections, Liquid

What is Azithromycin:

Azithromycin is a prescription-based medicine used to treat bacterial infections.

It comes under the class of medications called Macrolide antibiotics.

The medicine was approved by FDA on 24th May 2002 to treat bacterial infections.

Azithromycin is a generic drug, also available under the brand name Zithromax.

You can take the medicine in following dosage form:

  • Tablet or capsule
  • Injection given into veins
  • Oral Suspension
  • Eyedrops

The medicine is used to treat below mentioned bacterial infections:

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Infections of ears, skin, throat, and sinus

What is Amoxicillin:

Amoxicillin is also a prescription medicine used to treat bacterial infections.

The medicine is in a class of medications called Penicillin-like Antibiotics.

Amoxicillin received its approval from FDA on 16th May 2000 as an antibiotic.

Amoxicillin is also available under the brand name Amoxil.

You can take the medicine as a tablet, injection, or liquid.

Your doctor may prescribe you the medicine to treat any of the following conditions:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Infections of ears, nose, skin, throat, and urinary tract

Doctors sometimes recommend it in combination with other medications to treat ulcers caused by a bacteria called H. Pylori (Helicobacter Pylori).

Warning:
Antibiotics are very successful in treating bacterial infections. But they can be overused sometimes, which results in antibiotic resistance.

Thus avoid taking the medication without proper guidance from your doctor.

Azithromycin or Amoxicillin: Pros and cons

Both Azithromycin and Amoxicillin act as antibiotics. These medicines, like all others, offer certain benefits and drawbacks.

FactorsAzithromycinAmoxicillin
ProsAvailable as generic in tablet and suspension form
Used to treat various types of bacterial infections
Bacteria is less resistant
Immediate release form
Available as generic in tablet, capsule, or liquid form
Side effects are not too severe
First choice of medicine to treat the bacterial infection
ConsConsult the doctor if you have liver disease
Must space out antacids by at least two hours
Use with caution if you are taking Anticoagulants
The response rate to medicine is less as compared to other antibiotics
For the best benefits, you might need to take it two to three times daily

Azithromycin vs Amoxicillin for sinus infection

woman with sinus pain - Azithromycin vs AmoxicillinSource: klebercordeiro_from_Getty_Images
Sinus pain

Most sinus infections usually do not need antibiotics, but your doctor will decide if you need them.

Your doctor may prescribe Azithromycin or Amoxicillin for sinus infections.

A study was published by NIH comparing the tolerability and efficacy of a 3-day course for Azithromycin whereas a 10-day course for Amoxicillin to treat acute sinusitis in 100 adults.

A significantly faster recovery was observed in the Azithromycin-treated patients.

After the completion of the course, 95% of the patients treated with Azithromycin were recovered completely, while 74% of patients in the Amoxicillin group were cured. By the follow-up visit, those numbers went upto 98% and 91%, respectively.

As a result, Azithromycin offers much more significant benefits in terms of a more straightforward dose schedule with quick recovery.

Azithromycin vs Amoxicillin: Side effects

Woman suffering from DiarrheaSource: Kanchanachitkhamma
Diarrhea – common side effect

Amoxicillin side effects are usually rare affecting around 1 in 10 people.

The most common Amoxicillin side effects are related to Penicillin sensitivity.

Speak with your pharmacist or doctor if you observe any of the following side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypersensitivity reaction

Side effects due to Azithromycin are rarer than Amoxicillin, affecting more than 1 person in 100.

Common Azithromycin side effects are:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling dizzy or tired
  • Headache
  • Losing your appetite
  • Changes in your sense of taste

Talk to your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away.

As a result, compared to Amoxicillin, there is a lower chance that you might have any adverse effects from Azithromycin.

Takeaway

Azithromycin and Amoxicillin are both commonly used to treat bacterial infections and prescription-based medicine with approval from FDA.

According to studies, Azithromycin is more effective than Amoxicillin in treating sinus infections and has a more manageable dosage schedule.

Azithromycin is also available as eye drops for eye infections, while Amoxicillin is not FDA-approved for intraocular administration.

In conclusion, Azithromycin is tolerable and more effective in curing bacterial infection.

Quick Checkout:
You can buy Azithral Eye Drops 0.1% (3ml) online from WowRxPharmacy at the best prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which one is better, Azithromycin or Amoxicillin?

Regarding the efficacy of the medicine, Azithromycin is more effective than Amoxicillin and has a more straightforward dosage regimen.

Does Azithromycin work the same as Amoxicillin?

Yes, Azithromycin and Amoxicillin work in a similar way to treat bacterial infections. They work by killing the bacteria or inhibiting its growth.

Can you buy Azithromycin over the counter?

Azithromycin is not available over the counter, as you need a doctor’s prescription to buy medication.

Citations:
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