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Brand names:

Cleocin®, Clindacin®, Clindagel®, Clindesse®, Evoclin®

Often used for:


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What is Clindamycin?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic used to prevent or treat infections caused by bacteria. Clindamycin is available in different forms. It may also be applied to the skin for treatment of acne.

Patients may have tests to check blood counts and monitor liver and kidney function.

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May be taken as a capsule by mouth

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May be taken as a liquid by mouth

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May be given as a liquid injected into a muscle

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

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May be applied on the skin (topical)

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Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bad or metallic taste in the mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rash, itching, redness, or irritation
  • Vaginal itching, burning, or discharge
  • Low blood pressure (IV form)
  • Changes in liver function

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, hives, itching, chills, fever, headache, muscle ache, shortness of breath, coughing, tightness in the throat, swelling of the face or neck

Not all patients who take clindamycin will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Let a doctor know if the patient has severe diarrhea while on this medicine.
  • Clindamycin may make birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control methods less effective. Sexually active patients should also use another form of birth control, like condoms, to prevent pregnancy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Finish all doses of the medicine as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist.

Clindamycin at home:

  • Liquid medicine: Shake well, and use the measuring device that comes with the medicine. Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Throw away remaining medicine after 14 days.
  • Capsules: Take with a full glass of water. This will help prevent heartburn or throat irritation. Take with food if stomach upset occurs. Store at room temperature.
  • Lotion, gel, liquid, or foam applied to the skin: Use as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Apply to clean, dry skin. Avoid getting in the eyes, nose, or mouth. These skin products may bleach hair and colored fabrics. Wash hands before and after applying the medicine. Store at room temperature.
  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling, storage, and disposal.