Azithromycin vs Doxycycline

Azithromycin and Doxycycline are the antibiotics used to treat different bacterial infections in the human body. This covers pneumonia, traveller's diarrhoea, strep throat, middle ear infections, and other intestinal ailments. It can also be utilised for malaria along with other drugs.

Doxycycline, a tetracycline class, broad-spectrum antibiotic, is used to treat conditions brought on by bacteria and specific parasites. Acne, chlamydia infections, Lyme disease, cholera, typhus, and syphilis are among the states it is used to treat. Combining it with quinine prevents malaria as well.

How are Doxycycline and Azithromycin different? Which one is better?

Both Doxycycline and Azithromycin are for bacterial treatments. Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic, whereas Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic.

Azithromycin treats a variety of different infections. It has the benefit of only requiring a once-daily dosage, but diarrhoea is frequently a side effect.

Regarding the latter, Doxycycline, an efficient antibiotic, successfully treats several infections. However, it is typically not advised for underweight infants or pregnant women in the second half of their pregnancies.

Although the difference in some ratings may go up and down, Azithromycin and Doxycycline are equally efficacious in achieving microbial cure and have similar tolerability. Therefore, additional head-to-head tests are not necessary to compare these antibiotics.

How do they work?

The chemistry behind the working of these medications isn't very complicated to understand. They both work by inhibiting protein synthesis. Azithromycin is a macrolide. This antibiotic targets the bacterial ribosome. Ribosomes are structures responsible for the formation of proteins within the cell and are composed of two subunits. In bacterial cells, these subunits are the 50S and 30S. Azithromycin attaches to the 50S subunit and blocks the process of protein formation. A strong dose has to be delivered to the infection site so that the drug can effectively play its part.

On the other hand, Doxycycline attaches to the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome and prevents the formation of proteins. Therefore, it may destroy the bacterial cell by preventing the formation of the building blocks, which are proteins.

What are the side effects of Azithromycin and Doxycycline?

Common side effects of Azithromycin

Azithromycin's most commonly observed side effects are nausea, diarrhoea, and loose stools. Other than these, some side effects of Azithromycin require immediate medical attention.

Azithromycin may also have unintended side effects in addition to its beneficial advantages. While not all of these side effects are likely to materialise, if they do, medical attention may be necessary.

Serious side effects of Azithromycin

Apart from the side effects mentioned above, if any of the following adverse effects develop while taking Azithromycin, consult your doctor right away:

Diarrhoea, fever, oedema, irritation, stinging, or blistering of the skin, peeling or loosening of the skin, bloody or cloudy urine, bloody, black, or tarry stools, body aches or pain, burning while urinating, tightness in the chest, chills, congestion, coughing up more mucus than usual, dark urine, laboured or difficult breathing, noisy breathing, and passing of gas are all symptoms to watch out for. You can read more about these side effects in detail here.

Azithromycin Dosage forms

Azithromycin comes in various dosage forms, including oral tablets, lyophilised powder for reconstitution for injection, and oral suspension.

Common side effects of Doxycycline

When it comes to Doxycycline, it also has its side effects. The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, loss of appetite, minor diarrhoea, rash or itching on the skin, darkening of the skin tone, and vaginal itching or discharge.

Get emergency medical attention immediately if you have any symptoms of an allergic response to Doxycycline, such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling in your face or throat, or a severe skin reaction. (Fever, sore throat, burning in the eyes, skin pain, a red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Serious side effects of Doxycycline

Serious side effects are rare and only affect 1 in 1000 people. Seek emergency medical help if you experience the following severe side effects:

Diarrhoea containing blood or mucous, signs of blood problems such as bleeding or bruising, high temperature, a sore throat and feeling generally unwell, ringing in the ears, muscle or joint aches after starting Doxycycline, signs of intracranial hypertension such as severe headaches and vision problems, fingernails starting to come off from the base, a swollen or sore mouth, tongue or lips, pain and difficulty in swallowing and acid reflux, signs and symptoms of pancreatitis such as severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting.

Doxycycline Dosage forms

Doxycycline comes in various dosage forms, including capsule, powder for reconstitution, syrup, delayed-release tablet, delayed-release capsule, oral suspension, and periodontal extended-release liquid.

Final word

Antibiotics are useful for treating a wide range of bacterial infections, but care must be taken when taking antibiotics. Following the doctor's instructions and completing the course of antibiotics is crucial for maximum efficacy. This article does not include the complete list of these antibiotics' side effects or usages. Therefore, it's better to consult a doctor before you start taking either of them. Call your doctor immediately if you think you or someone else is experiencing the side effects mentioned above.

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