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What is clindamycin?

Clindamycin (also known as Cleocin®) is used to treat or prevent infections. It is applied to the skin to treat acne. It is available in the following forms:

  • 75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg capsules and liquid suspension taken by mouth
  • Topical skin gel and solution
  • Clear liquid given into the vein (IV)

How to take and store clindamycin

  • Shake the liquid well before you take it. Use an oral syringe or medicine cup to be sure you are taking the correct amount.
  • Store the liquid at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Discard the liquid medicine after 14 days or on the expiration date printed on the label.
  • This medicine can be taken with or without food.
  • Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from moisture and light.

Possible side effects of clindamycin

  • Stomach upset and diarrhea
  • Skin rash and itching
  • Low blood pressure with IV form

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for clindamycin

  • Finish all doses of this medicine as prescribed by your doctor, even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • While taking clindamycin, birth control medicines that contain estrogen may not be effective. Use a second birth control method for at least one (1) month after taking clindamycin.
  • If you have diarrhea and abdominal pain while taking clindamycin, tell your doctor right away.
  • The topical skin products may bleach hair and colored fabrics.
  • If you are an outpatient taking clindamycin through a portable pump (such as an Eclipse® device):
    • Finish all doses of clindamycin as instructed by your doctor, even if you think your condition has improved.
    • Store clindamycin in the refrigerator or on ice.
    • Place one (1) dose of clindamycin at room temperature about 30 minutes before the dose is received.
    • See “Do You Know…Using the Eclipse® medicine device” for details.
  • Clindamycin may affect the way other medicines work. These medicines include:
    • cyclosporine,
    • fluconazole,
    • droperidol,
    • erythromycin,
    • foscarnet,
    • octreotide,
    • pentamidine,
    • zolmitriptan,
    • promethazine, and
    • chlorpromazine.

Always tell your doctor if you are taking these medicines or if you start taking any new medicine while taking clindamycin.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).