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Generic Name: clindamycin (KLIN-da-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Cleocin

Infrequently, there are severe, rarely fatal, intestinal problems that can occur after use of Cleocin. Consult your doctor right away if you develop persistent diarrhea, stomach pain, or blood or mucus in your stool. These symptoms may occur weeks after stopping use of Cleocin. Do not use antidiarrhea products or narcotic pain medicines if you have these symptoms. These products may make the symptoms worse. Your doctor will monitor you closely while you are using Cleocin.


Cleocin is used for:

Treating serious infections caused by certain bacteria. It is not used to treat meningitis.

Cleocin is a lincomycin antibiotic. Cleocin kills sensitive bacteria by stopping the production of essential proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.

Do NOT use Cleocin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Cleocin or to lincomycin
  • you have certain intestinal problems (eg, antibiotic-associated colitis, Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis) or meningitis

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using Cleocin:

Some medical conditions may interact with Cleocin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have diarrhea, or a history of liver problems or stomach or bowel problems (eg, colitis)
  • if you are allergic to tartrazine

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Cleocin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, vecuronium) or succinylcholine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Cleocin
  • Erythromycin because it may decrease Cleocin's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Cleocin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Cleocin:

Use Cleocin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Cleocin by mouth with or without food.
  • Take Cleocin with a full glass of water (8 oz [240 mL]).
  • Cleocin works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take Cleocin for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of Cleocin, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Cleocin.

Important safety information:

  • Cleocin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use Cleocin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Cleocin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • This product may contain tartrazine dye (FD&C Yellow No. 5). This may cause an allergic reaction in some patients. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to tartrazine, ask your pharmacist if your product has tartrazine in it.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious and sometimes fatal form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Very bad skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) have happened. They can cause very bad health problems that may not go away and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Cleocin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Cleocin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially diarrhea.
  • Use Cleocin with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 10 years old who have diarrhea or an infection of the stomach or bowel.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Cleocin while you are pregnant. Cleocin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Cleocin, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Cleocin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild diarrhea; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or tarry stools; decreased urination; joint pain or swelling; severe or persistent diarrhea; severe stomach cramps or pain; unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Cleocin:

Store Cleocin at room temperature, between 68 to 77 degrees F (20 to 25 degrees C) in a tightly-closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Cleocin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Cleocin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cleocin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Cleocin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Cleocin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Cleocin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Cleocin.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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