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As is the case with any other medication, there may be some instances where clindamycin interactions can occur. In such cases, use is not recommended or usage will have to be adjusted in order to prevent or reduce the risk of negative interactions occurring from other drugs, medical conditions, or even food and drink.

Drug Interactions

According to the FDA and other official sources, drugs that may interact with clindamycin include the following.

  • Neuromuscular blocking agents
  • Erythromycin (E.E.S. 400, E.E.S. Granules, EryPed 200)
  • CYP3A4 inducers
  • Some vaccines

Please note that this list may not be complete, and other interactions with drugs not listed here may occur.

Clindamycin and Neuromuscular Blocking Agents

Clindamycin has been shown to increase the action of neuromuscular blocking agents. Neuromuscular blocking agents, like atracurium besylate, are used to relax skeletal muscles while a person is on a life support machine or undergoing surgery. So, doctors should use caution if prescribing both. 

Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide

There are no known interactions between clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide (a topical antiseptic). In fact, these two drugs may be combined into a topical solution used to treat acne, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, just because there are no known interactions between these drugs doesn’t mean negative interactions aren’t possible. Plus, the combination may lead to side effects, including skin irritation.

Clindamycin and Tretinoin

Clindamycin and the drug tretinoin (Retin-A Micro, Refissa, Retin-A Micro Pump) may be combined into a topical medication to kill acne. While no known negative interactions exist between clindamycin and tretinoin, using the medicated combination may lead to skin dryness and irritation.

Clindamycin and Erythromycin

Lab studies have shown that clindamycin and another antibiotic called erythromycin can compete against each other. This competition may decrease effectiveness of the antibiotic medications. Therefore, patients should not take them together.

Food Interactions

Sometimes the foods we eat and the beverages we drink can also interact with our medications. Food and drink that may interact with clindamycin include:

  • Alcohol
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Yogurt 
  • St. John’s Wort

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other foods and beverages that interact with this drug.

Clindamycin and Alcohol

For more information, please visit our page on clindamycin and alcohol interactions.

Clindamycin and Grapefruit Juice

According to the FDA, grapefruit and grapefruit juice can negatively interact with many drugs, including antibiotics. This interference is due to compounds in grapefruit juice that can increase the amount of a drug that gets into the bloodstream. This event can lead to increased buildup and an increased risk of side effects.

Clindamycin and Yogurt

There are no known interactions between clindamycin and yogurt and other types of dairy. Because yogurt contains live bacteria, many people believe that eating yogurt before or after taking antibiotics may help restore the healthy population of bacteria in the gut. However, the research on this isn’t conclusive. Talk to your doctor about whether eating yogurt and other types of dairy is safe for you while taking clindamycin.

Disease & Conditions Interactions

Sometimes certain medications can increase the risk of negative side effects for patients with certain diseases or other medical conditions. According to the FDA, diseases and medical conditions that are known to negatively interact with clindamycin include:

  • Severe liver disease
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Pregnancy

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other diseases and medical conditions where patients should not take this medication.

Clindamycin and Pregnancy

For more information, please visit our page on clindamycin and pregnancy risks.

Clindamycin and C. diff

Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is a germ that can cause severe diarrhea that can be life-threatening in some cases. According to the FDA, almost all antibiotics, including clindamycin, increase the risk of a C. diff infection. This fact is because antibiotics disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the gut, which may allow C. diff to overgrow in the gut.

Clindamycin and Headaches

According to Mayo Clinic, headaches are a possible side effect of clindamycin. It’s not known how often this symptom happens, though. Talk to your doctor before taking clindamycin if you get headaches regularly. 

Clindamycin and Heartburn

Heartburn is a possible side effect of clindamycin. Clindamycin may also lead to an unpleasant, metallic-like taste in the mouth.

Other Interactions

Other interactions that may occur include the following.

Clindamycin and Sunlight

It’s been reported that clindamycin may lead to skin rashes, hypersensitivity, and other issues, especially when applied as a topical agent on the skin. Clindamycin may also make a person’s skin more easily sunburned. For this reason, many doctors advise people taking clindamycin to avoid excessive sunlight exposure that may further irritate the skin. People should also not put clindamycin on skin that is already sunburned.

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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