Q:

What is Clindamycin HCL?

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Quick Answer

Clindamycin HCl, which has the brand name Cleocin, is a lincosamide antibiotic used to treat serious bacterial infections. It carries an FDA black-box warning as users have the potential to develop life-threatening diarrhea and colitis when using this drug. Patients developing severe watery diarrhea while on Clindamycin should notify a physician immediately and avoid antidiarrhea medications.

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Full Answer

Those with a history of intestinal disorders, Crohn's disease, colitis, eczema, asthma, or liver disease should use Clindamycin with caution. The medicine should not be taken along with the antibiotic erythromycin or by those with an allergy to yellow food coloring.

Common side effects include mild stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, a mild skin rash, joint pain and vaginal itching or discharge. More serious side effects include severe diarrhea and other changes in bowel habits, reduced urination, severe skin rash with blistering and peeling, and fever. If any of these serious side effects occur, discontinue use, and contact a physician at once.

Clindamycin should be taken with a full glass of water to avoid throat and esophageal irritation. It can be taken with or without food, although taking Clindamycin with food may help reduce stomach upset. The entire antibiotic course should be finished to avoid a decrease in effectiveness and antibiotic resistance in the future.

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