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Clindamycin was the 137th most commonly prescribed drug in the United States in 2017. In that year alone, there were over 4,934,442 prescriptions. Considering how popular this drug is right now, it pays to know a little bit more about this medication, including how long clindamycin stays in your system.

The FDA states the following information regarding clindamycin half-life:

Mean effective half-life: 2.4 hours (it is different depending upon age of person)

Time to steady-state: 45 minutes

Terminal phase half-life: 4 hours

Clindamycin has an oral bioavailability of 90 percent. The body rapidly absorbs the drug after ingestion and excretes it through urine and feces. 


What is the half-life of clindamycin?

The half-life of clindamycin is 2.4 hours. In elderly patients, the half-life may be as long as 4 hours.

How long does clindamycin stay in your system?

The average elimination half-life of clindamycin is about 2 to 3 hours for children and adults and up to 4 hours for elderly people. That means this drug stays in a person’s system for anywhere from 11 to 48 hours, as it takes roughly 5.5 half-lives for the body to clear a substance. Because clindamycin doesn’t stay in your system for very long, doctors usually instruct their patients to take the medication about once every 6 hours

Even though clindamycin doesn’t stay in the system for long, it may still lead to longer-term health effects after a person stops taking the medication, including altered gut health. 

Do antibiotics keep working after you stop taking them?

Antibiotics like clindamycin do not keep working after you stop taking them. They keep working as long as they are taken and the bacteria treated do not mutate and become resistant to the antibiotics. To avoid creating antibiotic-resistant drugs, it is incredibly important to take all antibiotic medications exactly as prescribed by a medical doctor. People should continue taking their antibiotic medications until their prescription runs out or until their doctor advises them to stop. 

How do you flush antibiotics out of your system?

Clindamycin leaves the body primarily through urine and feces. You can support your body’s ability to flush out antibiotics, toxins, and other waste products by staying well-hydrated and eating a nutritious diet.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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