Clindamycin Dosage, Side Effects, Uses & More

Clindamycin is basically a group of antibiotics that works simply by killing bacteria and stops their growth.

Due to such properties of Clindamycin, doctors prescribe such medications to stop the growth of bacterial infections. The drug is available in all forms like topical, oral and injectable forms.

Out of several forms of this drug as mentioned above, oral form of Clindamycin is used to treat acne along with bacterial infections in the vagina.

There are some other ways this medication is used by medical practitioners. One such use of this drug is to treat allergy due to penicillin which itself is an antibiotic.

It happens sometime that people start having infections after taking certain antibiotics like penicillin. In such cases, it is recommended to treat such infections.

This article is about the uses, dosage and side effects of taking Clindamycin which is a form of antibiotic.


What to Know About Clindamycin?

As discussed above, Clindamycinis basically a class of antibiotics used to treat bacterial infection among people due to different reasons.

In general, antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. But Clindamycin or any such medication made specifically to fight bacterial infections don’t work in cases of viral infections.

Please know that Clindamycin belongs to the lincosamide family. This drug works by disrupting bacteria to continue producing proteins.

It’s dosage depends on the type of infection which either kills or stops the growth of bacteria.


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Uses of Clindamycin

In general, Clindamycin is used to treat a number of bacterial infections. Other than that, this drug is given to people in some other medical ailments as well.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this medication to teat some other infections like:

  • Skin infections
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Infections of the female reproductive tract
  • Lung infections
  • Abdominal infections
  • Septicemia, a type of blood poisoning
  • Blood infections

In addition to the above, people can also take the above medication for uses that are not approved by FDA. This is why doctors sometimes use clindamycin to treat some other infections raised by malaria and anthrax.

Just like the above, dentists also use it to treat endocarditis which is basically an infection of the lining of the heart. It may occur after a dental procedure in patients who are generally at risk.

Likewise, clindamycin is given to patients to get rid of infections before surgery. It’s used to prevent infection at the surgical site.


Types of Clindamycin

As mentioned above, there are four types of clindamycin available for use including oral, topical and injection form.

Dosage & Directions to Use

It all depends on the type or severity of infection that your doctor prescribes clindamycin. Have a look below to find more.


Oral capsules and granules

clindamycin is mainly prescribed to patients who are either allergic to another antibiotic penicillin or in cases where a different antibiotic would be inappropriate. It’s mainly due to the risk of colitis which is inflammation of the inner lining of colon.

In some cases, doctors use to take samples from the infectious site to check the kind of bacterial infection.

Sometimes, Clindamycin capsules irritate the lining of esophagus which is also known as the food pipe. This tube runs from the mouth to the stomach. In order to avoid the irritation, clindamycin capsules are given with water.


For adults, the dosage of clindamycin is:

For serious infection, 150–300 mg every 6 hours

For severe infection,  300–450 mg every 6 hours


For children, the dosage of clindamycin is:

For serious infection, 8-16 mg per kilogram (mg/kg) per day, divided into three or four equal doses

For severe infection, 16-20 mg/kg per day, divided into three or four equal doses

Clindamycin is also available in the form of granules and is recommended for those who have difficulty in swallowing the drug.


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Use of Clindamycin As Vaginal Cream & Suppositories

It’s is also available in topical form which means it can be used to treat infections outside the body. One of the most common uses of topical Clindamycin is to treat bacterial infection in vagina.

The drug is available topically in the form of cream with an applicator which is somewhere close to 100 mg of Clindamycin. It can be directly inserted into the vagina once during bedtime.

It’s available by the name Cleocin vaginal cream which is found safe in the case of pregnant women.

As per studies done, pregnant women should not use  clindamycin vaginal suppositories. It’s because researches are yet to confirm about the safety of the above medication.


In cases of serious infection, clindamycin can be used in the form of injections.


Lotion, gel, & solution

clindamycin is also prescribed in the form of gel, lotion and solution to treat acne. You need to consult with your doctor regarding the use of this drug.


Side Effects of Clindamycin

side effects

One side effect which is seen by taking antibiotics is diarrhea. And it’s seen even in people taking Clindamycin.

The drug gives side effects mainly because it alters the bacterial composition of colon and is found responsible for the overgrowth of the bacterium called Clostridium difficile.

The above bacterium produces toxins which further becomes the cause of diarrhea. Some other possible side effects of taking it include:

  • Arthritis
  • Disrupted function of the immune system
  • Blood disorders
  • Kidney function
  • Liver function
  • Fluid buildup under the skin
  • Inflammation of the vagina
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Irritation of the esophagus
  • Abdominal pain

Patients taking this medication in the oral form like lotion can have some skin related side effects like:

  • Oiliness
  • Itchiness
  • Peeling
  • A burning or stinging sensation
  • Redness
  • Dryness

When someone uses Clindagel for acne, the most common side effects that come include skin peeling and itchiness.

In the topical use of clindamycin, people hardly witness diarrhea or colitis while some people have reported the issue of abdominal disturbances.

In the same way, Clindamycin suppositories including vaginal cream may again cause the same side effects as above. Take a look at some other clindamycin suppositories or vaginal cream:

  • Vaginal pain
  • Disorders of the vagina or vulva
  • Inflammation of the vagina and vulva
  • Vaginal fungal infections



Those having a history of colitis should avoid taking clindamycin as it causes severe inflammation in the lining of the intestine.

Please note that continued usage of this medication can get worsen with dosage. Hence it should only be prescribed in case of bacterial infections.


Drug interactions

Drug interaction is not limited of using a specific form of clindamycin but can happen in any form of this medication.

It’s generally believed that this medication is prescribed with utmost care by doctors, especially to those taking neuromuscular blocking agents. It’s because such drugs play a vital role in certain medical operations.

There are instances when this medication has broken down the liver enzyme CYP3A4 in the body causing severe complication.


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Alternatives to Clindamycin

Both lincomycin and clindamycin happen to be the only members of the lincosamide family.

Lincomycin is freely available in the form of an injection. It’s generally prescribed for serious type of infections.

In case, if it causes problems, doctors won’t prescribe it and some other medications will be prescribed instead. So, it all depends on the person’s infection and allergies that this medication is prescribed.



Clindamycin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It’s also used to treat acne as well.

Apart from benefits, there are a number of side effects after taking this medicine. And so, doctor should check out the benefits and risks before prescribing this medication.

Those having a history of colitis need to avoid taking it as it can damage overall health.


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