What is this medication?
CLINDAMYCIN (KLIN da MYE sin) treats acne. It works by killing or preventing the growth of bacteria on your skin. It belongs to a group of medications called antibiotics.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cleocin T, ClindaMax
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
- Large area of burned or damaged skin
- Other skin conditions or sensitivity
- Stomach or intestine problems like colitis
- An unusual or allergic reaction to clindamycin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Use it as directed on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after use. Apply a thin film of the medication to the affected area. Do not get it in your eyes. If you do, rinse your eyes with plenty of cool tap water. Do not use it more often than directed. Keep using it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, skip it. Take your next dose at the normal time. Do not take extra or 2 doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose.
What may interact with this medication?
Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products on the same area of skin without talking to your care team.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. It may be some time before you see the benefit from this medication.
Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your care team if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Severe diarrhea, fever
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Mild skin irritation, redness, or dryness
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Do not freeze. This medication is flammable. Avoid exposure to heat, fire, flame, and smoking. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy