Health Guide

Clindamycin (On the skin)

Clindamycin (klin-da-MYE-sin)

Treats skin infections and severe acne. This medicine is an antibiotic.

Brand Name(s):

Cleocin T, Clindacin ETZ, Clindacin P, Clindacin Pac, Clindagel, Evoclin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to clindamycin or you have a history of intestinal or stomach disorders or colitis.

How to Use This Medicine:

Pad, Lotion, Liquid, Gel/Jelly, Foam

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Liquid: Shake well just before each use. Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
  • Foam: Do not spray the foam directly onto your hand. It will begin to melt as soon as it touches your skin. Instead, spray the foam onto a tissue, the cap from the medicine can, or a cool surface. Then dip your fingertips into the foam to pick up small amounts of the medicine and apply to the affected skin areas. Gently massage the foam into your skin until it disappears.
  • If the foam can is warm, the medicine may become watery. You may cool the can by running it under cold water from a faucet. Do not refrigerate the can.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not apply other prescription medicines when you apply clindamycin.
  • Some cosmetics may cause your acne to get worse, or cause clindamycin to irritate your skin. Use only water-based cosmetics.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have any allergies.
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Severe diarrhea (watery or bloody)

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Burning where the medicine is applied
  • Skin rash or very small pimples
  • Stomach pain or upset

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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