Skip to main content

Lincocin Side Effects

Generic name: lincomycin

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 19, 2023.

Note: This document contains side effect information about lincomycin. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Lincocin.

Applies to lincomycin: injection solution.


Injection route (Solution)

Clostridioides difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including lincomycin, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.Because lincomycin therapy has been associated with severe colitis which may end fatally, it should be reserved for serious infections where less toxic antimicrobials agents are inappropriate. It should not be used in patients with nonbacterial infections such as most upper respiratory tract infections.C difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

Serious side effects of Lincocin

Along with its needed effects, lincomycin (the active ingredient contained in Lincocin) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking lincomycin:

Incidence not known

Other side effects of Lincocin

Some side effects of lincomycin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to lincomycin: compounding powder, injectable solution, oral capsule.


Frequency not reported: Glossitis, stomatitis, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distress, persistent diarrhea, enterocolitis, antibacterial-associated diarrhea and colitis, pruritus ani, pseudomembranous colitis, Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, esophagitis[Ref]

The onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms has been reported during and after antibacterial therapy.

Esophagitis was reported with oral preparations.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity reactions (such as angioneurotic edema, serum sickness, anaphylaxis); face, ears, and neck swelling[Ref]

Some hypersensitivity reactions occurred in penicillin-sensitive patients.

A 19-year-old male patient, who had received 2 previous IM injections of lincomycin at the age of 17 years and 1 IM injection 2 weeks prior, reported that a few minutes after his fourth IM injection he noticed a tingling sensation around his face and mouth. The patient's symptoms progressed to bright red to blue-violet skin discoloration, injection of the bulbar conjunctivae, and swelling of his face, neck, and ears. The patient recovered without incident after receiving adrenaline and betamethasone IM followed by oral prednisone with an antihistamine.[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Exfoliative and vesiculobullous dermatitis

Frequency not reported: Skin rashes, urticaria, pruritus, erythema multiforme (some resembling Stevens-Johnson syndrome)[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Aplastic anemia, pancytopenia

Frequency not reported: Neutropenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Cardiopulmonary arrest

Frequency not reported: Hypotension[Ref]

Cases of hypotension after parenteral administration have been reported, especially after too rapid IV administration. Rare cases of cardiopulmonary arrest have been reported after this drug was administered IV too rapidly. In these cases, the affected patients subsequently tolerated slow infusions. A study that looked at multiple large dose administration of this drug found that when the doses were appropriately diluted and administered more slowly, cardiovascular changes did not occur.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Jaundice, abnormal liver function tests (especially elevated serum transaminase)[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Renal dysfunction, azotemia, oliguria[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Proteinuria

Frequency not reported: Vaginitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Tinnitus, vertigo, neuromuscular blockade, metallic taste in mouth[Ref]


Frequency not reported:

-IM: Pain following injection, local irritation, pain induration, sterile abscess formation

-IV: Thrombophlebitis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Bulbar conjunctival injection


1. Product Information. Lincocin (lincomycin). Pharmacia and Upjohn. 2001;PROD.

2. Jaimes EC. Lincocinamides and the incidence of antibiotic-associated colitis. Clin Ther. 1991;13:270-80.

3. Venning GR. Identification of adverse reactions to new drugs. II (continued): How were 18 important adverse reactions discovered and with what delays? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1983;286:365-8.

4. Burdon DW. Prophylaxis in surgery. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1981;7 Suppl A:19-25.

5. Phillips I. Past and current use of clindamycin and lincomycin. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1981;7 Suppl A:11-8.

6. Keighley MR, Arabi Y, Matheson D, Alexander-Williams J. Aspects of preventing sepsis in colo-rectal surgery: results of recent clinical trials. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1978;4 Suppl C:33-8.

7. George WL, Sutter VL, Finegold SM. Antimicrobial agent-induced diarrhea--a bacterial disease. J Infect Dis. 1977;136:822-8.

8. Hamilton-Miller JM. Antimicrobial agents acting against anaerobes. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1975;1:273-89.

9. Crapp AR, Powis J, Clark C, Keighley MR, Alexander-Williams J. Letter: Postoperative pseudomembranous colitis. Br Med J. 1975;3:227.

10. Wilson DH, Cunliffe WJ, Tan SG. Letter: Lincomycin and clindamycin colitis. Br Med J. 1974;4:288-9.

11. Lincomycin and clindamycin colitis. Br Med J. 1974;4:65-6.

12. Bartlett JG, Sutter VL, Finegold SM. Treatment of anaerobic infections with lincomycin and clindamycin. N Engl J Med. 1972;287:1006-10.

13. Ashton H, Beveridge GW, Stevenson CJ. Lincomycin and clindamycin. Br J Dermatol. 1970;83:604-6.

14. Sanders E. Lincomycin versus erythromycin: a choice or an echo. Ann Intern Med. 1969;70:585-90.

15. Kaplan K, Weinstein L. Lincomycin. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1968;15:131-9.

16. Bartlett JG. Anti-anaerobic antibacterial agents. Lancet. 1982;2:478-81.

17. Liner SR. Adverse reactions to parenteral lincomycin. Pediatrics. 1981;68:615-6.

18. Berry DD, Brouhard BH, Box QT. Adverse reactions to parenteral lincomycin. Pediatrics. 1981;67:389-91.

19. Robertson MB, Breen KJ, Desmond PV, Mashford ML, McHugh AM. Incidence of antibiotic-related diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis: a prospective study of lincomycin, clindamycin and ampicillin. Med J Aust. 1977;1:243-6.

20. McCool D, Miller RR. Treatment of lincomycin-caused diarrhea. JAMA. 1976;236:1937-8.

21. Munk JF, Collopy BT, Connell JL, et al. Lincomycin-clindamycin-associated psuedomembranous colitis. Med J Aust. 1976;2:95-7.

22. Clark CE, Thompson H, Mcleish AR, Powis SJ, Dorricott NJ, Alexander-Williams J. Pseudomembranous colitis following prophylactic antibiotics in bowel surgery. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1976;2:167-73.

23. Boyd WC, DenBesten L. Subtotal colectomy for refractory pseudomembranous enterocolitis. JAMA. 1976;235:181.

24. Kinsella PL. Letter: Antibiotic diarrhoea. Br Med J. 1975;4:580.

25. Parsons RL, Beavis JP, Salfield JB. Letter: Diarrhoea and colitis associated with antibiotic therapy. Br Med J. 1975;4:42.

26. Gibson GE, Rowland R, Hecker R. Diarrhoea and colitis associated with antibiotic treatment. Aust N Z J Med. 1975;5:340-7.

27. Burbige EJ, Milligan FD. Pseudomembranous colitis. Association with antibiotics and therapy with cholestyramine. JAMA. 1975;231:1157-8.

28. Lambert HP. Unwanted effects of antibiotics: some recent additions. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1975;1:2-4.

29. Letter: Lincomycin and clindamycin colitis. Br Med J. 1974;4:591.

30. Scott AJ, Nicholson GI. The recognition of pseudomembranous colitis as a clinical entity. Aust N Z J Med. 1974;4:502-9.

31. Viteri AL, Howard PH, Dyck WP. The spectrum of lincomycin-clindamycin colitis. Gastroenterology. 1974;66:1137-44.

32. Pittman FE, Pittman JC, Humphrey CD. Letter: Lincomycin and pseudomembranous colitis. Lancet. 1974;1:451-2.

33. Scott AJ, Nicholson GI, Kerr AR. Lincomycin as a cause of pseudomembranous colitis. Lancet. 1973;2:1232-4.

34. Marks MI, Shapera RM, Brazeau M. Pediatric antimicrobial therapy 3. Can Med Assoc J. 1973;109:213-4.

35. Novak E, Vitti TG, Panzer JD, Schlagel C, Hearron MS. Antibiotic tolerance and serum levels after intravenous administration of multiple large doses of lincomycin. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1971;12:793-7.

36. Price DJ, O'Grady FW, Shooter RA, Weaver PC. Trial of phenyoxymethylpenicillin, phenethicillin, and lincomycin in treatment of staphylococcal sepsis in a casualty department. Br Med J. 1968;2:407-9.

37. The macrolides and lincomycin. Br Med J. 1968;3:233-4.

38. Mickal A, Dildy GA, Miller HJ. Lincomycin in the treatment of cervicitis and vagini in pregnancy. South Med J. 1966;59:567-70.

39. Mohr JA, Rhoades ER, Muchmore HG. Actinomycosis treated with lincomycin. JAMA. 1970;212:2260-2.

40. Walker WG. Hypersensitivity reaction in a patient receiving lincomycin. Can Med Assoc J. 1969;101:130.

41. Duncan IB, Jeans B. Lincomycin in hospital practice. Can Med Assoc J. 1965;93:685-91.

42. Raff MJ. Lincomycin: thrombocytopenia? Ann Intern Med. 1973;78:779.

43. Brown EB, Cunningham CE. Granulocytopenia occurring during the administration of lincomycin. JAMA. 1965;194:668-70.

44. Daubeck JL, Daughety MJ, Petty C. Lincomycin-induced cardiac arrest: a case report and laboratory investigation. Anesth Analg. 1974;53:563-7.

45. Waisbren BA. Lincomycin in larger doses. JAMA. 1968;206:2118.

46. Snavely SR, Hodges GR. The neurotoxicity of antibacterial agents. Ann Intern Med. 1984;101:92-104.

47. Samuelson RJ, Giesecke AT Jr, Kallus FT, Stanley VF. Lincomycin-curare interaction. Anesth Analg. 1975;54:103-5.

48. Darrell JH, Uttley AH. Antibiotics in the peri-operative period. Br J Anaesth. 1976;48:13-9.

49. Duignan NM, Andrews J, Williams JD. Pharmacological studies with lincomycin in late pregnancy. Br Med J. 1973;3:75-8.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.