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Clindamycin/ tretinoin

Generic Name: clindamycin/tretinoin (KLIN-da-MYE-sin/TRET-i-noin)
Brand Name: Examples include Veltin and Ziana

Clindamycin/ tretinoin is used for:

Treating acne.

Clindamycin/tretinoin is a lincosamide antibiotic and retinoid combination. The antibiotic kills bacteria that cause acne. The retinoid may reduce the tendency for skin cells to stick together. This may reduce the formation of acne and allow quicker healing of acne that does develop.

Do NOT use clindamycin/ tretinoin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in clindamycin/tretinoin or to lincomycin
  • you have stomach or bowel inflammation (eg, Crohn disease, enteritis, ulcerative colitis)
  • you have a history of severe diarrhea or other bowel problems caused by antibiotic use
  • you are using a product that contains erythromycin

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

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Before using clindamycin/ tretinoin:

Some medical conditions may interact with clindamycin/tretinoin. 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 an open wound, sunburn, or damaged skin at the application site
  • if you have a history of eczema, high white blood cell counts, or stomach or bowel problems

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

  • Products that contain erythromycin because they may decrease clindamycin/tretinoin's effectiveness.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if clindamycin/tretinoin 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 clindamycin/ tretinoin:

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

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with clindamycin/tretinoin. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Apply clindamycin/tretinoin at bedtime unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Clindamycin/tretinoin is for external use only. Do not get it in the eyes, vagina, or mouth; on the lips; or in the angles of the nose. If you get it in your eyes, rinse at once with cool tap water.
  • Do NOT apply clindamycin/tretinoin to open wounds.
  • Wash your face gently with mild soap and water. Pat the skin dry. Apply a pea-size amount of clindamycin/tretinoin to the tip of your finger. Dot onto the chin, cheeks, nose, and forehead. Gently smooth clindamycin/tretinoin over the entire face until it is completely rubbed in.
  • Wash your hands immediately after using clindamycin/tretinoin.
  • Use clindamycin/tretinoin on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Continue to use it even if your skin appears to improve. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of clindamycin/tretinoin, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use clindamycin/tretinoin.

Important safety information:

  • Several weeks may pass before you see improvement in your acne. If your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. Doing so may increase the risk of skin irritation.
  • Do not use other topical medicines or products that have a strong drying effect. Some examples are medicated or abrasive soaps; certain cosmetics; or products with large amounts of alcohol, spices, lime, or astringents. These products may increase your risk for skin irritation.
  • Windy or cold weather may increase the risk of skin irritation while you are using clindamycin/tretinoin.
  • Clindamycin/tretinoin may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to clindamycin/tretinoin. Wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time. Use sunscreen each day, even on cloudy days. Reapply the sunscreen throughout the day as needed.
  • Do not apply clindamycin/tretinoin to skin that is sunburned. Wait until the burn is fully healed before using clindamycin/tretinoin.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you use clindamycin/tretinoin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • If severe diarrhea, stomach pain or cramping, or bloody stools develop during treatment or within several months after treatment with clindamycin/tretinoin, check with your doctor or pharmacist right away. Do not treat it without first checking with your doctor.
  • Clindamycin/tretinoin should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using clindamycin/tretinoin while you are pregnant. It is not known if clindamycin/tretinoin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using clindamycin/tretinoin.

Possible side effects of clindamycin/ tretinoin:

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:

Dry skin; mild burning, itching, peeling, redness, scaling, or stinging of the skin; temporary change in skin color.

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); blistered, crusted, or swollen skin; bloody, severe, or persistent diarrhea; mucus in stools; severe or persistent burning, itching, peeling, redness, or scaling of the skin; stomach cramps or pain.

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. Clindamycin/tretinoin may be harmful if swallowed.

Proper storage of clindamycin/tretinoin:

Store clindamycin/tretinoin at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze. Keep the tube tightly closed. Keep clindamycin/tretinoin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about clindamycin/tretinoin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Clindamycin/tretinoin 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 clindamycin/tretinoin 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 clindamycin/tretinoin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to clindamycin/tretinoin. 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 clindamycin/tretinoin.

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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