Clindamycin is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of antibiotics called lincosamides. It is used in the treatment of bacterial infections and severe acne. Clindamycin is available in various dosage forms including capsules, vaginal cream, topical foam, topical gel, intravenous infusion, injection, lotion and solution. It works by preventing bacteria from replicating in the body. Many side effects are associated with the use of Clindamycin and may depend on the formulation used. Discuss any concerns with your physician.
Diarrhea may be seen in individuals who are administered Clindamycin, particularly if given orally or intravenously. According to the “Drug Information Handbook,” over 10 percent of individuals experience this side effect. Abdominal pain is also seen in over 10 percent of people. Drinking plenty of fluids and consuming an adequate amount of fiber in your diet may help. Inform your physician immediately if diarrhea becomes severe or does not stop after three days.
Effects on the Skin
Clindamycin, especially the topical formulations, can cause many reactions on the skin. Dryness, burning, itchiness, redness and peeling of the skin are present in over 10 percent of individuals. Gels may leave the skin feeling oily, as well. In the oral or intravenous forms, hives and rash are common in 1 to 10 percent of individuals. If these worsen or spread through the entire body, you may be experiencing a severe reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome and require immediate medical attention. If any skin reaction is accompanied by swelling in the hands, face or throat, obtain medical help immediately.
The Clindamycin vaginal cream may cause vaginal itchiness and vaginal fungal infections. It may occur in more than 10 percent of users, reports the “Drug Information Handbook.” Because the medication is killing bacteria and is unable to distinguish a certain type of bacteria, normal healthy bacteria are also killed off. This gives the opportunity for fungus to grow uninhibited. Fungal infections are also seen in other formulations occurring in about 5 percent of individuals. Contact your health care provider if you have any issues; fungal infections may require medical intervention.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting may occur with the use of oral or intravenous Clindamycin. About 1 to 10 percent of users may experience nausea and vomiting. These side effects may also be seen in people using the topical form but only occurs in about 1 percent. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy may help alleviate these adverse reactions. If these symptoms worsen, contact your physician immediately.
- "Drug Information Handbook 15th Edition"; Charles F. Lacy, RPh, PharmD, FCSHP, et. al.; 2007
- "Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach"; Joseph T. Dipiro, et. al.; 2008