Prescriptions

How Much Do Antibiotics Cost Without Insurance in 2021?

Jacqueline Slobin
Jacqueline Slobin23 Aug 2022

The average cost of generic antibiotics without insurance is about $42.67, while the average cost for brand-name antibiotics is $221.75. You can take several steps to reduce the amount you pay for antibiotics, such as asking for the generic version instead of the brand-name medication.

If you do not have insurance or your insurance company does not cover the prescriptions you need, Mira may be a great option for you. With Mira’s prescription portal, you can see the prices of the antibiotics you need at various pharmacies near you and get access to discount codes that can help save up to 80% on medications. In addition, Mira members get access to $5 virtual care visits, where you can meet with a clinician and get a prescription for an antibiotic if necessary.  Sign up and start saving today. 

Cost of Antibiotics Without Insurance 

The average cost of generic antibiotics without insurance is about $42.67, while the average cost for brand-name antibiotics is $221.75.  However, the price you pay will depend on several factors, such as the antibiotic you are prescribed, your insurance coverage, and whether you get the generic or brand name antibiotic. 

Cost of Common Antibiotics Without Insurance 

GenericGeneric PriceBrandBrand PriceDosage
Amoxicillin

$12.14

No longer availableN/A500 mg
Doxycycline

$41.23

Mondoxyne NL

$146.79

100 mg
Cephalexin

$23.64

Keflex

$297.21

500 mg
Ciprofloxacin

$21.52

Cipro

$111.13

500 mg
Clindamycin

$77.75

Cleocin T

$207.34

300 mg
Metronidazole

$17.77

Flagyl

$257

500 mg
Azithromycin

$31.30

Zithromax

$152.16

250 mg
Levofloxacin

$116.01

Levaquin

$380.63

500 mg

The type of antibiotic you are prescribed will depend on what condition is being treated, its severity, and the strength of your immune system. When possible, you should always choose the generic option, as they typically work just as well as brand-name antibiotics but are often significantly less expensive. 

When individuals need drugs that aren’t as widely used, the prices go up even more than this table represents. It’s important to have some coverage to make sure you can afford all of the medications you need. Even with traditional insurance, you could still have to pay more than the listed price, or you may have to pay everything out of pocket until you’ve met a certain deductible. 

Lowering the Cost of Antibiotics 

The cost of antibiotics can be expensive when paying without insurance. Below we outline some tips to help you reduce the price you pay for antibiotics. 

  1. Get a generic antibiotic: When your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic, you should get the generic rather than brand-name medication. In most cases, the generic antibiotic is just as effective as the brand name and is significantly less expensive.
  2. Check prices at multiple pharmacies: The cost of antibiotics can vary greatly depending on what pharmacy you get the medication from. You can call pharmacies near you or use Mira’s prescription portal to see the cost of antibiotics without insurance at various pharmacies.
  3. Discount programs: Some pharmacies offer discounted medications for people who have a membership. For example, Costco, Kroger, Price Chopper, Wegmans, Walmart, and Publix, among others, may offer discounted antibiotics for those with a membership.
  4. MiraRX: Through MiraRX, members can access discount codes that can be used for antibiotics and other prescriptions. Mira members also get access to $5 virtual care visits and $99 urgent care visits, where a doctor can help determine if you need an antibiotic and prescribe one if necessary. 
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Antibiotics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi has a degree in bioethics and a Doctor in Pharmacy from Western University of Health Sciences and answered some questions about antibiotics for this article. Dr. Nouhavandi is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Honeybee Health, an online pharmacy that helps patients access low-cost prescription medications. 

What are antibiotics? 

“Antibiotics are used to either kill or stop the growth and replication of bacteria. Different kinds of infections can affect humans and animals, including bacterial infections, fungal infections, and viral infections.  Antibiotics specifically work against bacterial infections only.”

Do I need a prescription for antibiotics? 

“Yes, you will need to be prescribed an antibiotic after seeing a doctor. Once filling your prescription at a pharmacy, your pharmacist will give you more detailed information on how to take your medicine.”

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How do antibiotics work? 

Dr. Nouhavandi: “Antibiotics are antimicrobial substances that work to kill or stop the growth of bacteria inside or on the body. There are antibiotics that work on a broad range of different bacteria, called broad-spectrum antibiotics, and some that only work against a few strains of bacteria. When deciding which antibiotic to treat a person with, doctors can narrow down which bacteria cause depending on the type of infection. Only certain types of bacteria can cause certain infections.”

What conditions are treated with antibiotics? 

“It’s important to note again that antibiotics will only treat bacterial infections, not fungal or viral. The most common bacterial infections that antibiotics treat are sinus infections, strep throat, UTIs (urinary tract infections), pneumonia, bacterial skin infections, and ear and eye infections.”

Are antibiotics safe?

While antibiotics are generally safe, you should talk to your doctor about any new medications you begin taking, as people react very differently to antibiotics and other prescription medications. According to Dr. Nouhavandi, there is some general information to keep in mind when taking antibiotics, which includes: 

  • Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
  • Always choose generic, as generic antibiotics work just as well but are often significantly more affordable.
  • Some people will develop resistance to the effects of certain antibiotics, so it’s important only to take antibiotics when necessary.
  • Antibiotics can cause side effects such as diarrhea or upset stomach, so it’s important to speak with your pharmacist about avoiding these side effects depending on which antibiotic you’re taking.
  • Because most antibiotics also kill the good bacteria in your body, antibiotics can cause vaginal yeast infections in some women. Taking probiotics is one way to avoid this.

Bottom Line 

Antibiotics are antimicrobial substances used to treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat, sinus infections, and UTIs. Antibiotics must be prescribed by a doctor and can be picked up from a pharmacy. The cost of antibiotics without insurance can range from about $12 to $380, but there are several steps you can take to reduce the price you have to pay.

By getting a Mira membership, you will access discount codes for various prescription medications, including antibiotics. In addition, Mira members get access to $5 virtual care visits and $99 urgent care visits, where you can meet with a clinician to discuss whether antibiotics will be helpful for you. 

Jacqueline Slobin

Jacqueline graduated from the University of Virginia in 2021 with a B.A. in Global Public Health and is a current M.D. candidate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Jacqueline has been working for Mira since April 2020 and is passionate about the intersection of public health and medical care.