What is clindamycin?

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Generic Name: Clindamycin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is clindamycin used for?

Clindamycin is used to treat acne. It helps to decrease the number of acne lesions. Clindamycin is an antibiotic which works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Clindamycin belongs to the class of drugs called lincosamide.

How should I take 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 intravenous. 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, intravenous 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 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 flu or a common cold.

How do I store clindamycin?

Clindamycin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store clindamycin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of clindamycin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush clindamycin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using clindamycin?

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in children up to 12 years of age with use in other age groups.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Is it safe to take clindamycin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of clindamycin?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using clindamycin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; 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.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Change in bowel habits (especially in older adults);
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
  • Joint pain;
  • Vaginal itching or discharge;
  • Mild rash or itching; or
  • Heartburn, irritation in your throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with clindamycin?

Clindamycin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Atracurium, Metocurine, Tubocurarine.

Does food or alcohol interact with clindamycin?

Clindamycin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with clindamycin?

Clindamycin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • History of stomach or intestinal disease (especially colitis, including colitis caused by antibiotics, or enteritis)—These conditions may increase the chance of side effects that affect the stomach and intestines

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Clindamycin for an adult?

Usual Adult dose for serious infection: 150 to 300 mg orally every 6 hours. Or 600 to 1,200 mg via intravenous or intramuscular per day, in 2 to 4 equally divided doses

Usual Adult dose for more severe infection: 300 to 450 mg orally every 6 hours. Or 1,200 to 2,700 mg via intravenous or intramuscular per day, in 2 to 4 equally divided doses

More severe infection: Up to 4,800 mg via intravenous infusion per day

What is the dose of Clindamycin for a child?

Body weight 10 kg or less:

Minimum recommended dose: 37.5 mg orally three times a day

Body weight 11 kg or more:

Serious infection: 8 to 12 mg/kg orally per day, in 3 to 4 equally divided doses

Severe infection: 13 to 16 mg/kg orally per day, in 3 to 4 equally divided doses

More severe infection: 17 to 25 mg/kg orally per day, in 3 to 4 equally divided doses

An alternate regimen:

Serious infection: 8 to 16 mg/kg orally per day, in 3 to 4 equally divided doses

More severe infection: 16 to 20 mg/kg orally per day, in 3 to 4 equally divided doses

Parenteral:

Up to 1 month of age: 15 to 20 mg/kg via intravenous infusion per day in 3 to 4 equally divided doses; the lower dose may be sufficient for small premature neonates.

1 month to 16 years:

Body weight dosing: 20 to 40 mg/kg via intravenous or intramuscular per day, in 3 to 4 equally divided doses. The higher doses would be used for more severe infections

Body surface area dosing:

Serious infection: 350 mg/m2 via intravenous or intramuscular per day

Severe infection: 450 mg/m2 via intravenous or intramuscular per day

17 years or older: Usual adult dose

Duration: At least 10 days for beta-hemolytic streptococcal infections

How is clindamycin available?

Clindamycin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Capsule 75 mg; 150 mg; 300 mg

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What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of clindamycin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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