topical clindamycin (Cleocin T, Clindagel, ClindaDerm, Clindets, Evoclin)

  • 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.

Why is topical clindamycin phosphate (Cleocin T, Clindagel, ClindaDerm, Clindets, Evoclin) prescribed to patients?

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

What are the side effects of topical clindamycin phosphate (Cleocin T, Clindagel, ClindaDerm, Clindets, Evoclin)?

  • 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. Orally or injected clindamycin have been associated with severe colitis which may result in death. Diarrhea, colitis, and pseudomembranous colitis may begin up to several weeks after stopping oral and parenteral therapy with clindamycin.
  • 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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/9/2016

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