Generic Name: clindamycin (oral/injection) (klin da MYE sin)
Brand Names: Cleocin HCl, Cleocin Pediatric, Cleocin Phosphate, Cleocin Phosphate ADD-Vantage
What is clindamycin?
Clindamycin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.
Clindamycin is used to treat serious infections caused by bacteria.
Clindamycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Clindamycin can cause diarrhea, which may be severe or lead to serious, life-threatening intestinal problems. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using this medicine and call your doctor.
Before using clindamycin, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, an intestinal disorder such as colitis or Crohn's disease, or a history of asthma, eczema, or allergic skin reaction.
Take clindamycin for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Clindamycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using it for a short time.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to clindamycin or lincomycin.
To make sure clindamycin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a history of colitis, Crohn's disease, or other intestinal disorder;
a history of eczema, or allergic skin reaction;
asthma, or a history of severe allergic reaction to aspirin;
if you also take erythromycin; or
if you are allergic to yellow food dye.
FDA pregnancy category B. Clindamycin is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
Clindamycin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Do not give a clindamycin injection to a child without medical advice. The injectable medicine contains an ingredient that can cause serious side effects or death in very young infants or premature babies. Do not allow an older child to use this medicine without supervision of an adult.
How should I use clindamycin?
Take clindamycin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take the capsule with a full glass of water to keep it from irritating your throat.
Measure the oral liquid with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Clindamycin is sometimes given as an injection into a muscle, or injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Use a disposable needle only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
To make sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects, you may need frequent medical tests during treatment.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Clindamycin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Protect the injectable medicine from high heat.
Do not store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Throw away any unused oral liquid after 2 weeks.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using clindamycin?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using clindamycin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Clindamycin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to clindamycin: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Clindamycin can cause diarrhea, which may be severe or lead to serious, life-threatening intestinal problems. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using clindamycin and call your doctor.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
any change in bowel habits;
little or no urinating;
signs of inflammation in your body - swollen glands, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, upper stomach pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common clindamycin side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
mild skin rash; or
vaginal itching or discharge;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect clindamycin?
Other drugs may interact with clindamycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about clindamycin
- Clindamycin solution
- Clindamycin suspension
- Clindamycin (Advanced Reading)
- Clindamycin Oral, Injection, Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about clindamycin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed.
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