Clindamycin: Presentations, Indications, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions and Recommendations

It is a synthetic antibiotic widely used against gram-positive and anaerobic organisms.

Generic name:  clindamycin (oral / injection).

Nombres de marca: Cleocin HCl, Cleocin Pediatrico, Cleocin Phosphate, Cleocin Phosphate ADD-Vantage.

This medicine is used to treat serious infections. It is effective on several types of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes.

It reduces the growth of bacteria by interfering with their ability to produce proteins.

It is most often used to treat patients with penicillin allergy or in other situations where penicillin or other alternative antibiotics can not be used.

Clindamycin works by preventing bacteria from multiplying. This medicine should only be used to treat bacterial infections. It should not be used for viruses, like the common cold.

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.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to clindamycin.

Presentations of clindamycin

Clindamycin is also available as an oral solution, topical foam, topical gel, topical lotion, topical swab, topical solution, vaginal suppository and vaginal cream.

In addition, it is available as an intravenous (IV) medication, which is only administered by a health care provider.


The infections that are treated with clindamycin are:

  • Severe infections of the respiratory tract (for example, empyema, pneumonitis and lung abscess).
  • Serious skin and soft tissue infections.
  • Pelvic and female genital infections (eg, endometritis and ovarian abscess).

Side effects

There are several side effects that can occur during the use of clindamycin:

  • Agranulocitosis.
  • Eosinophilia (transient).
  • Fungal overgrowth.
  • Colitis pseudomembranosa.
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Eruptions
  • Urticaria.
  • Hypotension .
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting
  • Tromboflebitis.
  • Granulocitopenia.
  • Neutropenia.
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Poliartritis.
  • Renal dysfunction
  • Metallic flavor.
  • Colitis por Clostridium difficile.

Clindamycin causes Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) because it can disrupt normal bacteria in the colon and stimulate the overgrowth of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis).

Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting clindamycin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.

Diarrhea associated with antibiotics

Symptoms may include:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea.
  • Stomach cramps and pain.
  • Fever.
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weightloss.

Severe skin rashes, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis

Symptoms may include:

  • Severe rash
  • Face or swollen tongue.
  • Blisters on your skin or blisters in or around your nose, mouth and eyes.


Your dosage, medication form and how often you take the medication will depend on:

  • Your age.
  • The condition that is being treated.
  • Gravity of the condition.
  • Other medical conditions you have.
  • How you react to the first dose

Possible doses that will depend on the factors mentioned above

  • For adults with severe infections it is 150 to 450 mg every 6 to 8 hours up to a maximum dose of 1.8 grams per day.
  • For pediatric patients, the recommended dose is 8 to 20 mg / kg / day divided into 3 or 4 equal doses.

To avoid irritation of the throat, clindamycin should be taken with a full glass of water.

Pregnancy and lactation

The frequency of congenital anomalies did not increase when pregnant women used clindamycin during the second and third trimesters. This medication should not be used during the first trimester of pregnancy unless clearly necessary because it has not been adequately evaluated during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Clindamycin is excreted in breast milk and should not be used by women who breastfeed or who should stop breastfeeding.


Clindamycin may interact with other medications

The oral clindamycin capsule may interact with other medications, vitamins or herbs you may be taking. The interaction happens when one medicine modifies the function of another. In this case, there may be harm or little effectiveness of the action of the drug.

To avoid drug interactions as much as possible, let your treating doctor know about all medications you are taking, including herbal and vitamins.


  • Clindamycin should be stored at room temperature, from 20 C to 25 C (68 to 77 F).
  • Always check the expiration date of your medications.