Difference between Azithromycin and Erythromycin
Azithromycin vs Erythromycin:
Because of the various maladies that plague the human kind, many medicines and antidotes have been discovered thanks to the development of the medical sciences. Azithromycin and erythromycin are two antibiotics which fall in to this category, which are also closely related to one another. Yet, it must be said that they serve completely different purposes. Azithromycin and erythromycin are both macrolides and are both mostly used as cures for treating infections in soft tissues, upper and lower respiratory tract and uro genital infections. However, in order to discover the ways in which these two drugs can be used, it is imperative to know the ways in which they differ from one another.
Named as one of the best selling antibiotics in the world, Azithromycin is an azalide which is a class of antibiotics that contains a nitrogen atom in the macrolide ring. Azithromycin is used commonly as treatment for middle ear infections, strep throat, pneumonia, typhoid, and sinusitis and is also prescribed for preventing bacterial infections in infants. Azithromycin is also widely prescribed for people with weak immune systems and it is a drug that is also deemed as effective against certain sexually transmitted diseases such as nongonococcal urethritis, chlamydia, and cervicitis. However, azithromycin is also known to cause certain side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting because of which many people stop taking the drug after a while.
Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic whose activity is based on a macrolide ring and is often prescribed as an alternative for penicillin for those of who have penicillin allergies. First marketed by Eli Lilly and Company, erythromycin is widely prescribed for infections of the upper respiratory system and is often administered in the form of tablets or as oral suspensions. Side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting are seen commonly on par with this drug as well as more serious side effects such as arrhythmia with prolonged QTc intervals as well as Torsades-de-Pointe and reversible deafness. Erythromycin is not recommended for pregnant women as it had been associated with reversible hepatotoxicity during pregnancy.
What is the difference between Erythromycin and Azithromycin?
Both erythromycin and azithromycin fall under the category of macrolide antibiotics due to the fact that the activities of both the drugs are centered on a macrolide ring, to which one or more deoxy sugars are attached. Azithromycin is actually derived from erythromycin which owes largely to the myriad of similarities that exist between the two. However, erythromycin is also used an alternative medicine for those of who manifest allergic reactions to penicillin while azithromycin is not used as an alternative for penicillin. The above fact is just one example of what great differences exist in the ways that the two drugs are prescribed.
Erythromycin is prescribed mainly for upper respiratory infections whereas azithromycin covers a larger scope of infections including sexually transmitted diseases such as as nongonococcal urethritis, chlamydia and cervicitis. Also, while azithromycin is popularly prescribed for infants and also for treating people who have weak immune systems, erythromycin is not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers as it had been found to cause an increased probability of pyloric stenosis in young infants.
Azithromycin is released in the tissue whereas erythromycin is metabolized in the liver. It is usually eliminated in the bile while some of it is dispersed in urine. Both drugs, however, is known to interfere with birth control regiments. However, the way in which erythromycin operates within the body still remains a mystery, despite the knowledge that it may be performing some sort of bacterial action inside the body. On the other hand, azithromycin functions by obstructing the protein synthesis of bacteria, thereby putting a stop to its growth.
Both antibiotics are known to have severe side effects related to gastrointestinal conditions such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting and they are not much preferred to be used as first line drugs by doctors. However, both remain to be very popular drugs despite the minor problems that occur such as allergies and other temporary issues.