Many antibiotics, including clindamycin, may cause overgrowth of dangerous bacteria in the large intestine. This may cause mild diarrhea or may cause a life-threatening condition called colitis (inflammation of the large intestine). Clindamycin is more likely to cause this type of infection than many other antibiotics, so it should only be used to treat serious infections that cannot be treated by other antibiotics. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had colitis or other conditions that affect your stomach or intestine.
You may develop these problems during your treatment or up to several months after your treatment has ended. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms during your treatment with clindamycin injection or during the first several months after your treatment is finished: watery or bloody stools, diarrhea, stomach cramps, or fever.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving clindamycin injection.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Clindamycin injection is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections, including infections of the lungs, skin, blood, bones, joints, female reproductive organs, and internal organs. Clindamycin is in a class of medications called lincomycin antibiotics. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria.
Antibiotics such as clindamycin will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
How should this medicine be used?
Clindamycin injection comes as a liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) over a period of 10 to 40 minutes or intramuscularly (into a muscle). It is usually given two to four times a day. The length of your treatment depends on the type of infection you have and how well you respond to the medication.
You may receive clindamycin injection in a hospital, or you may be given the medication to use at home. If you have been told to use clindamycin injection at home, it is very important that you use the medication exactly as directed. Use clindamycin injection at about the same times every day. Follow the directions that you are given carefully, and ask your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse if you have any questions. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with clindamycin injection. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Use clindamycin injection until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using clindamycin injection too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Other uses for this medicine
Clindamycin injection is also sometimes used to treat malaria (a serious infection spread by mosquitoes in some parts of the world) and to prevent infection in people who are having certain types of surgery. Clindamycin injection is also sometimes used to treat anthrax (a serious infection that may be spread as part of a bioterror attack) and toxoplasmosis (an infection that may cause serious problems in people who do not have healthy immune systems and in unborn babies whose mothers are infected). Clindamycin injection is also used in some pregnant women to prevent passing an infection to the baby during birth.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using clindamycin injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clindamycin, lincomycin (Lincocin), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in clindamycin injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention clarithromycin (Biaxin, in PrevPac), erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin), indinavir (Crixivan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), nefazodone, nelfinavir (Viracept), rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifamate, in Rifater, Rimactane), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with clindamycin, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, allergies, eczema (sensitive skin that often becomes itchy and irritated), or liver or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using clindamycin injection, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using clindamycin injection.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Clindamycin injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- hardness, pain, or a soft, painful bump in the area where clindamycin was injected
- unpleasant or metallic taste in the mouth
- joint pain
- white patches in the mouth
- thick, white vaginal discharge
- burning, itching, and swelling of the vagina
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- peeling or blistering skin
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- decreased urination
Clindamycin injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to clindamycin injection.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Call your doctor if you still have symptoms of infection after you finish using clindamycin injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.