Medically reviewed on April 23, 2018
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 clindamycin and call your doctor.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to clindamycin or lincomycin.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
eczema, or allergic skin reaction;
liver disease; or
an allergy to yellow food dye.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.
Clindamycin injection may contain an ingredient that can cause serious side effects or death in very young or premature babies. Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I use clindamycin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take the capsule with a full glass of water to keep it from irritating your throat.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Clindamycin injection is injected into a muscle, or as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give your first dose and may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.
You may need frequent medical tests during treatment.
If you need surgery, tell your surgeon you currently use clindamycin.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. 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.
Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
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, 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 signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
any change in bowel habits;
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
little or no urination; or
a metallic taste in your mouth (after clindamycin injection).
Common side effects may include:
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?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Other drugs may affect clindamycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.04.
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