Antibiotics are some of the most commonly prescribed medications and are crucial for treating bacterial infections. However, those without insurance may wonder just how much antibiotics can cost them and how to lower the price of antibiotics.
Without insurance, antibiotics can cost anywhere between $10 and $70, and this cost depends on generic vs. brand name, the pharmacy you use, and the length of your treatment. Continue reading to see how prices vary amongst antibiotics and some tips for lessening how much antibiotics cost without insurance.
Table of Contents
- About Antibiotics
- How Much Do Antibiotics Cost Without Insurance?
- Price of Common Antibiotics
- What Does the Price of Antibiotics Depend On?
- Tips to Lower the Cost of Antibiotics
- How Can DrHouse Help?
- Key Takeaways
Antibiotics are a type of medication prescribed to treat bacterial infections. They work by destroying the bacteria or making it so they cannot grow and multiply by interfering with their protein and genetic material production.
Different antibiotics work in different ways, which is why some are effective against one type of bacteria, and others may be effective against another.
Some of the infections that antibiotics may be prescribed to treat include:
- urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- strep throat
- E. coli
- sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- skin infections
- upper respiratory tract infection
- ear infection
- conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- eye infections
- gum disease
Please note that some of the infections above may also have a viral cause. As such, antibiotics are only effective against an infection if it is due to bacteria.
With all the different types of antibiotics, and with many varieties able to treat the same type of infection, it’s common to wonder how the prices of these medications vary and how you can save money while still treating your infection.
How Much Do Antibiotics Cost Without Insurance?
Insurance generally covers a portion or even the total cost of your antibiotics, but what about those without insurance? How much can you expect to pay for antibiotics?
Many factors influence the cost of your treatment, including the antibiotic you are prescribed, the length you need to take it, and if you are taking a generic or brand-name drug.
Depending on these factors, the cost of antibiotics can range from less than $10 to over $70.
Price of Common Antibiotics
|Generic Name||Uses||Price||Brand Name||Dosage|
|Amoxicillin||Pneumonia; bronchitis; dental abscesses; ear infections; chest infections; stomach ulcers; chlamydia; Lyme disease; sinusitis; urinary tract infection (UTI); skin infection||$10 for 4 500 mg capsules||Amoxil, Moxilin, Sumox, Trimox||Mild to moderate infection: 250 mg every 8 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours|
Severe infection: 500 mg every 8 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours
|Cephalexin||Pneumonia; respiratory tract infections; skin infections; urinary tract infections; ear infections; bone infections||$11 for 4 500 mg capsules||Biocef, Daxbia, Keflex, Keftab||250 mg every 6 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours|
|Doxycycline||Chest infections; dental infections; skin infections and conditions (e.g., rosacea); sexually transmitted infections (STIs); urinary tract infections (UTIs); respiratory tract infections; eye infections; malaria prevention; infections caused by ticks, mites, or lice||$13 for 2 100 mg tablets||Acticlate, Adoxa,Monodox, Morgidox 1x, Alodox, Avidoxy, Mondoxyne NL, NutriDox, Ocudox, Okebo, Periostat, Doxal, LYMEPAK, TARGADOX, Vibra-Tabs, Vibramycin||100 to 200 mg taken once or twice a day|
|Azithromycin||Chest infections (e.g., pneumonia); sinusitis; ear infections; skin infections; Lyme disease; some sexually transmitted infections (STIs); chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) complications; tonsillitis; chancroid genital ulcers; urethritis||$14 for 2 250 mg tablets||Zithromax and Azasite||1g or 500 mg on the first day, then 250mg per day|
|Levofloxacin||Pneumonia; sinusitis; bronchitis; urinary tract infections (UTIs); skin infections; chronic prostate infections; kidney infection; inhalational anthrax; plague||$19 for 3 500 mg tablets||Levaquin||250 to 750mg once a day|
|Metronidazole||joint infection; bacterial vaginosis; trichomoniasis; liver abscess; skin infection; amebiasis; surgical prophylaxis; H. pylori infection; urethritis||$10 for 1 500 mg tablet||Flagyl||500 to 750 mg 3 times a day|
|Ciprofloxacin||Gonorrhea; pneumonia; typhoid fever; bone, skin, joint, abdomen, and prostate gland infections; infectious diarrhea; sinus infections; bronchitis; kidney infections; urinary tract infections (UTIs)||$11 for 1 500 mg tablet||Cipro||500 mg every 12 hours|
|Clindamycin||respiratory infections; lung abscesses; blood poisoningperitonitis; endometriosis; vaginal cuff infection; lung infections; abdominal infections||$11 for 4 150 mg capsules||Cleocin, Cleocin T, Evoclin, Clindesse||150 to 300 mg every 6 hours|
What Does the Price of Antibiotics Depend On?
Many factors influence the cost of antibiotics, the most notable being if you purchase a brand name or generic drug, with generic medications costing anywhere from 20 to 70 percent less than their brand name counterpart, according to estimates from the FDA.
Another influence on the cost of your antibiotic is the number of capsules you need or the length of treatment you require. Additionally, some antibiotics must be taken more frequently, which leads to more pills and can result in a higher price tag.
Finally, the pharmacy at which you fill your prescription can also affect the price.
Tips to Lower the Cost of Antibiotics
If you’re paying for antibiotics out of pocket, there are some steps you can take to help reduce their cost.
Opt for Generic Medications
If you can choose between generic and brand-name drugs, generic will almost always be the cheaper option. When you are prescribed an antibiotic, talk to your doctor about if there is a generic alternative.
The generic drug has the same active ingredient as the brand name and will be just as effective and safe. The only reason why it is cheaper is because there is greater competition in the marketplace.
Check Different Pharmacies
Don’t just go to the pharmacy closest to you. If you have a few that are a reasonable distance away, see what deals they offer at each one. There are even websites available where you can input your location and medication and see which pharmacy nearest you has it available at the lowest price.
Are prescribed antibiotics expensive?
Prescribed antibiotics can be expensive, but you can lower their cost by opting for generic versions and shopping around.
What is the cheapest way to get antibiotics?
The cheapest way to get antibiotics is to opt for the generic version and look for which pharmacy near you offers it at the cheapest price.
How much do antibiotics cost out of pocket?
Without insurance, antibiotics can cost between $10 to $70.
How Can DrHouse Help?
If you feel under the weather, DrHouse can connect you with a board-certified doctor in just 15 minutes. Through our app, your doctor can write you a prescription, which you can then use to order your antibiotics at whichever pharmacy you prefer.
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed medications used to treat bacterial infections. There are hundreds of different antibiotics, and this is because each antibiotic can only treat a range of infections, not all of them.
While most antibiotics require a prescription, they can be purchased without insurance, the cost will just be higher. Depending on the antibiotic you are prescribed and the length of your treatment, these costs can range from $10 to $70.
However, there are things you can do to lower the cost of your medication, such as opting for the generic drug and checking multiple pharmacies to see which offers your prescription for the cheapest price.
- Prices, Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs – Drugs.com. (2023). https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/
- Generic Drugs and Low-Cost Prescriptions. (2012). https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/generic-drugs-low-cost-prescriptions
- Simoens, S. (2011). Factors Affecting the Cost Effectiveness of Antibiotics. Chemotherapy Research And Practice, 2011, 1-6. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1155/2011/249867
- Generic Drug Facts. (2021). https://www.fda.gov/drugs/generic-drugs/generic-drug-facts
- Patel P, Wermuth HR, Calhoun C, et al. Antibiotics. [Updated 2023 May 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535443/
- Generic Drugs: Questions & Answers. (2021). https://www.fda.gov/drugs/frequently-asked-questions-popular-topics/generic-drugs-questions-answers