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Clindamycin/tretinoin (On the skin)

Clindamycin (klin-da-MYE-sin), Tretinoin (TRET-i-noin)

Treats acne. This medicine is a combination of an antibiotic and a retinoid.

Brand Name(s):

Veltin, Ziana

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 tretinoin, you have Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis, or you had colitis from using an antibiotic.

How to Use This Medicine:

Gel/Jelly

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • You may need to use this medicine for several weeks or months before your skin starts to look better. Extra medicine will not make it work faster.
  • 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.
  • It is best to use this medicine at bedtime.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Before you apply this medicine, wash your face with warm water and a mild soap, rinse well, and pat dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply 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.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some medicines can affect how clindamycin/tretinoin works. Tell your doctor if you are taking erythromycin or any muscle relaxant.
  • Do not use any other medicines on the treated skin areas without asking your doctor. Do not use skin care products that can dry or irritate your skin, such as rough skin cleansers, soaps, or products that contain alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or you are planning to have general anesthesia for surgery.
  • 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.
  • This medicine may cause a temporary change in skin color (lighter or darker).
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • 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
  • Diarrhea that is watery or contains blood
  • Severe or ongoing skin redness, peeling, itching, blistering, crusting, or swelling

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: 12/4/2014


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