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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 Pac, Clindagel, Clindets, Evoclin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to clindamycin or to similar medicines such as Cleocin® or Lincocin®. You should not receive this medicine if you have an intestinal or stomach disorder such as ulcerative colitis, or if you have ever had colitis from using an antibiotic.

How to Use This Medicine:

Pad, Lotion, Liquid, Gel/Jelly, Foam

  • Take your medicine as 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 and dry your skin before applying this medicine.
  • Shake the liquid well just before each use.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
  • If you are using the foam, do not spray it directly onto your hand because it will begin to melt as soon as it touches your skin. Instead, spray the foam onto a tissue, cotton square, or other cool surface. You may also spray the foam into the cap from the medicine can. 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.
  • Continue using medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.

If a dose is missed:

  • 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.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • 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.
  • This medicine can catch fire easily. You should not use the medicine near heat or open flame. Do not smoke while you are using this medicine or shortly after you have used the medicine. Do not puncture, break, or burn the aerosol can.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of the medicine container and any leftover or expired medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • If your doctor has prescribed other medicines to use on your skin, do not apply them at the same time that you apply clindamycin.
  • Some cosmetics or make-ups may cause your acne to get worse. They may also cause clindamycin to irritate your skin. Use only water-based cosmetics.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have any allergies.
  • Ask your doctor before you take any medicine to stop severe diarrhea.
  • 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.

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
  • Diarrhea that may contain blood.

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

  • Burning of your skin where the medicine is applied.
  • Headache.
  • 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: 4/4/2014
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