Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Erythromycin and Clarithromycin

Erythromycin vs Clarithromycin

Antibiotics are very powerful and potent drugs. If penicillin was not invented, many people would have probably died due to infection. Drugs do wonderful things for us. If abused, they can also bring harm to our body systems.

One of the most common antibiotics being prescribed and given by our physicians are erythromycin and clarithromycin. Though both are antibiotics, it’s still best to know the differences between both drugs.

Macrolide is another family of antibiotic that is widely utilized for infections. Erythromycin and clarithromycin are both classified as macrolide antibiotics. However, the former is given to those who are allergic to penicillin. Both drugs were formulated by a Japanese company.

For the structure of both drugs, erythromycin is a pure antibiotic that was extracted from Streptomyces erythreus. Clarithromycin, on the other hand, is not a pure extraction of the said organism. It is a semi-synthetic macrolide.

For the brief history, erythromycin was discovered first in 1952 from Streptomyces erythreus. Clarithromycin was formulated by Taisho Pharmaceuticals in Japan during the 1970’s which is a semi-synthetic form of erythromycin.

Erythromycin is indicated for infections caused by certain microorganisms such as upper respiratory infections, lower respiratory tract infections, whooping cough, diphtheria, primary syphilis, legionnaire’s disease and a lot more. Clarithromycin, on the other hand, is indicated for moderate and mild infections such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, community acquired pneumonia, and a lot more. Clarithromycin is said to be better in fighting a wide range of infections than erythromycin because it is superior against gram positive bacterial strains than erythromycin.

Clarithromycin is said to be more tolerable than erythromycin. Clarithromycin has also less gastrointestinal side effects compared to erythromycin.


1.Erythromycin was discovered first than clarithromycin.
2.Erythromycin is a pure antibiotic derived from a certain microorganism while clarithromycin is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic.
3.Clarithromycin is more superior in fighting illnesses caused by gram-positive bacteria than erythromycin.
4.Clarithromycin is more tolerable than erythromycin.
5.Clarithromycin has fewer stomach side effects than erythromycin.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


  1. Good day sir,
    Sir, I have been diagnosed, urine culture test, that yielded moderate growth of staphylococcus aureus after 24 hours of incubation at,37’c.
    Sensitive To: Ciprofloxacin,# erythromycin.

    Resistance To:: cotrimoxazde, cloxcacillin, clindamycin

    I brought erythromycin and I have been using it, still no improvement,
    I have been suffering this illness for years now, each time I take medication, it will go and later it comes back again even worst than before,
    Sir, what will I do? Am in serious pains.
    Is any drugs you can prescribe for me. Please help me. Thanks

    • Hello @Benjamin Agborh

      There could be a lot of reasons for why your condition is not clearing up and the antibiotic only working for a short time.

      My best and ONLY suggestion to you, would be to go back to your doctor, tell him what you’ve said here and as for another medication. If he refuses to change your medication, and if it was me, I would be straight out of there and off to another doctor as soon as possible. Given you condition is on-going and you’re not getting the results you should be getting, I’d suggest you go straight to your local A & E and seek advice there. They will certainly help and/or send you in the right direction.

      These conditions can be very serious and it’s your life, so don’t put up with any bullsh!t from anyone. Get seen too, and get better. You say you’ve been dealing with this for years that’s time you never get back. Don’t waste another day, you owe it to yourself to get better, first and foremost

      Hope that helps some.
      Good luck! 🙂

    • @Benjamin Agborh

      Hello. I’m just writing (if this sees the ‘light of day’), to let you know I sent you a rather detailed reply to help you with your medical condition.

      Unfortunately, this site has chosen to moderate my response by not posting it. I have NO idea why, as it was positive help and information for you.

      They have the power to moderate and delete my attempt to help some-one out and that is wrong. The difference between us is… I allow people to express their voice in order to others, and it seems, they don’t. I hope they prove me wrong and post my original comment.

      I am very sorry for this, but hope you have a good day.

  2. Fantastic and easy to understand answer. Thank you 🙂

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about :
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder