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Generic Name: Clindamycin, clindamycin hydrochloride (clindamycin HCL)

Brands: Cleocin T, Clindagel, Cleocin HCl, Evoclin, Clindamycin Pediatric, Clindacin P, Cleocin Pediatric, Clindacin Pac, Clin Single Use, Cleocin in 5 % dextrose

Class: Antibiotics

Availability: Prescription only

Molecular Formula: C18H33ClN2O5S

Substance UNII: T20OQ1YN1W

What is Clindamycin?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic. It is sold under brand names like Cleocin T, Clindagel, Cleocin HCl, Evoclin, Clindamycin Pediatric, Clindacin P, Cleocin Pediatric, Clindacin Pac, Clin Single Use, and Cleocin in 5 % dextrose. Clindamycin is commonly sold in capsule form. It’s also available in other forms, including an oral solution, topical foam, gel, swab, solution, or lotion, vaginal suppository or cream, and intravenous (IV) solution.

What is Clindamycin Used For?

Doctors prescribe clindamycin to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, including anaerobes, Streptococci, Staphylococci, and Pneumococci. This includes infections affecting the lungs, skin, blood, female reproductive organs, and internal organs. Some specific conditions treated with clindamycin include:

  • Septicemia (blood infection)
  • Intra-abdominal infections (infections inside the abdomen)
  • Bacterial vaginosis (Intravaginally)
  • Severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Acne vulgaris (acne)
  • Streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat)

This medication may also be prescribed to prevent endocarditis (infection of the heart) in at-risk individuals who are about to undergo a dental procedure. Clindamycin does not work for infections and illnesses caused by viruses, including the flu and the common cold.

How Does Clindamycin Work?

Clindamycin works by preventing bacteria from reproducing, therefore slowing the infection. It won’t necessarily kill bacteria, though. Specifically, clindamycin prevents bacterial cells from being able to make proteins, which are needed for cells to grow.

How Long Does it Take for Clindamycin to Work?

Clindamycin begins to work within about an hour after taking it. But it usually takes at least a day or two to notice any improvements in disease symptoms.

Do Not Use Clindamycin If:

There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the following should not use clindamycin:

  • Anyone with a hypersensitivity to preparations containing clindamycin or lincomycin (Lincocin)
  • Anyone with a history of pseudomembranous colitis, ulcerative colitis, or any other type of severe gastrointestinal disease

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where use of this medication is not advisable. For example, people with severe liver disease, renal disease, or asthma should use caution when taking clindamycin. Clindamycin should also not be taken to treat meningitis.

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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