clindamycin, Cleocin T, Clinda-Derm

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Get Rid of Adult Acne

GENERIC NAME: clindamycin phosphate, topical

BRAND NAME: Cleocin T, Clindagel, ClindaDerm, Clindets, Evoclin



PRESCRIBED FOR: Clindamycin topical (for application to the skin) is available as gels, foam, lotion, solution, and swab for treating acne.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of topical clindamycin are:

  • burning
  • Itching
  • Dryness
  • skin redness
  • oily skin

Some clindamycin topical solutions contain an alcohol base which will cause burning and irritation in the eye.

Possible serious side effects of clindamycin include:

Stomach pain and folliculitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the base of hairs) may occur during treatment with topical clindamycin.

Orally administered and injected clindamycin may cause severe colitis. Topical formulations of clindamycin may be absorbed from the skin surface, and diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and colitis (including pseudomembranous colitis) have been reported with the use of topical clindamycin.

PREPARATIONS: Gel, foam, lotion, solution, swab: 1%

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Clindamycin given orally may act as a neuromuscular blocker. This means it can increase the action of neuromuscular blocking drugs (for example, pancuronium and vecuronium) that block the contraction of muscles. Less clindamycin is absorbed into the blood stream when given topically so the likelihood of this drug interaction is less likely.

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: The frequency of congenital abnormalities was not increased when pregnant women used clindamycin during the second and third trimesters. Clindamycin has not been properly evaluated during the first trimester of pregnancy. It should only be used during the first trimester of pregnancy if it is clearly needed. Oral clindamycin is excreted in breast milk and either should not be used by nursing mothers or nursing should be stopped. It is not known whether clindamycin given topically is excreted in breast milk.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/13/2016

Quick GuideAdult Acne (Pimples) Causes, Solutions and Treatments

Adult Acne (Pimples) Causes, Solutions and Treatments
FDA Logo

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.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors