clindamycin, oral (Cleocin)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: clindamycin oral

BRAND NAME: Cleocin

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Clindamycin is an antibiotic used for treating serious infections. It is effective again several types of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Propionibacterium acnes. It reduces growth of bacteria by interfering with their ability to make proteins. The FDA approved clindamycin in February 1970.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Capsule: 75, 150, and 300 mg. Oral Solution: 75 mg/5 ml

STORAGE: Clindamycin should be store at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 to 77 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Clindamycin is used for treatment of serious infections caused by susceptible bacteria. It is most often used for treating penicillin-allergic patients or in other situations where penicillin or other alternative antibiotics cannot be used.

Some examples of infections that are treated with clindamycin include serious respiratory tract infections (for example, empyema, pneumonitis, and lung abscess); serious skin and soft tissue infections; female pelvic and genital tract infections (for example, endometritis); and ovarian abscess).

DOSING: The recommended dose for adults for serious infections 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 throat irritation, clindamycin should be taken with a full glass of water.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Clindamycin may act as a neuromuscular blocker. This means it can increase the action of neuromuscular blocking drugs (for example, pancuronium and vecuronium), which are used during surgery.

PREGNANCY: The frequency of congenital abnormalities was not increased when pregnant women used clindamycin during the second and third trimesters. Clindamycin should not be used during the first trimester of pregnancy unless it is clearly needed because it has not been properly evaluated during the first trimester of pregnancy.

NURSING MOTHERS: Clindamycin is excreted in breast milk and should not be used by nursing mothers or nursing should be stopped.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of clindamycin are stomach pain and diarrhea. It also frequently causes nausea, vomiting, rash, and itching.

Clindamycin causes Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) because it can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth Clostridium difficile, a bacteria which 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 physician immediately.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index