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  • Antibiotic
  • Used to treat bacterial infections
  • Finish the course completely
  • Capsules for oral use

About Clindamycin

Clindamycin is a type of medicine called an antibiotic. This medicine kills certain bacteria. This helps treat infections in the body (infections that are caused by bacteria). Clindamycin is used to treat conditions such as:

  • Respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia or throat infection.
  • Joint and bone infections.
  • Infections of the skin and soft tissue.
  • Infections of the female genitalia.
  • Infections of the abdominal cavity, including peritonitis and abdominal abscesses.

In some cases, Clindamycin is prescribed together with another antibiotic.

How to use Clindamycin

The capsules should be taken with a full glass of water. This is to prevent the medicine getting stuck and irritating the throat. This medicine can be taken with or without food. Clindamycin is most effective if taken at the same time each day.


Dosage varies per person and is determined by a doctor depending on the symptoms. The general dosage guidelines are as follows:

  • Adults: the recommended dose is 150 mg 450 mg every six hours, depending on the severity of your infection.
  • Children: in children (aged one month and up) a weightbased approach based on total body weight is suggested, regardless of obesity. The recommended dose is 8 – 25 mg for each kg of body weight a day given in three or four divided doses.

Note: the capsules should only be given to children who can swallow them.

Even if you feel your infection has cleared up, keep taking Clindamycin until the course is finished. Stopping early could leave bacteria alive and cause the infection to return.


This medicine does not interact with alcohol or impair your ability to drive safely.

If you use more/forget to use Clindamycin

Accidental use of an excessive dose may cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as stomach pain, inflammation of your oesophagus, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. If you take too many Clindamycin capsules, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

If you forget to take a dose of Clindamycin, skip the forgotten one and take the next dose as scheduled. Attention! Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one.

When not to use Clindamycin

Clindamycin is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this medicine if:

  • You are allergic to clindamycin or any of the ingredients in this medicine (see section ‘What Clindamycin contains').

When should this medicine be used with caution?

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine if:

  • You have, or have had, a bowel disease or problems with your intestines.
  • Your liver or kidneys are not working well.
  • You suffer from allergy on a regular basis.

Talk to your doctor straight away if you experience these symptoms while taking this medicine:

  • Severe allergic reactions (see the package leaflet for a description of the symptoms).
  • Diarrhoea during treatment or within three weeks after the course is finished.
  • Difficulty passing urine (reduced urine production), swelling of your legs, ankles or feet due to retention of fluids in tissues (oedema), shortness of breath or nausea.

These symptoms could be a sign of a condition caused by the use of Clindamycin. For more information, see the package leaflet.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, Clindamycin should only be used if your doctor deems it absolutely necessary.

This medicine is not recommended if you are breastfeeding because clindamycin passes into human breast milk and may affect the intestinal flora of your baby. When using while breastfeeding, the benefits and risks should be carefully weighed taking into account the importance of the treatment for the mother and the potential adverse reaction for the infant. Your doctor may recommend that you discontinue breastfeeding for the duration of the treatment.

Other medicines and Clindamycin

Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines. This includes medicines obtained without a prescription and herbal medicines.

Clindamycin may affect the way the following medicines work:

  • Muscle relaxants used for operations or hospital procedure. Clindamycin may intensify the effect of these medicines.
  • Erythromycin, an antibiotic used to treat infections. When taken together, Clindamycin and Erythromycin can make each other less effective.
  • Warfarin or similar medicines used to thin the blood. You may be more likely to have a bleed. Your doctor may need to take regular blood tests to check how well your blood can clot.

The following medicine may weaken the effect of Clindamycin.

  • Rifampicin (antibiotic): rifampicin stimulates the action of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of Clindamycin. This can cause Clindamycin to be less effective.

Side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although some people may not experience any.

Consult a doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Swelling of your legs, ankles or feet due to retention of fluids in tissues (oedema), shortness of breath or nausea.

Frequency of side effects:

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • Severe diarrhoea. This can be a sign of serious bowel inflammation (pseudomembranous colitis) caused by a certain bacterium (Clostridium difficile), which can grow because other bacteria are reduced by clindamycin. Tell your doctor immediately if you have diarrhoea (see also section 'When should this medicine be used with caution?').
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth.
  • Abnormal liver function test, elevations in blood tests of liver function (transaminases).

Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):

  • Reduced numbers of white blood cells which may increase the risk of infections (granulocytopenia).
  • Nerve and muscle paralysis (neuromuscular blockade).
  • Vomiting, nausea.
  • Type of skin rash characterised by a flat, red area on the skin that is covered with small confluent bumps (maculopapular rash), skin rash with severe itching and lumps (nettle rash, hives).

Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people):

  • Sudden swelling of the skin and in mucous membranes (e.g., throat, tongue), causing breathing difficulties and/or itching and skin rash (angioedema), swelling in the joints.
  • Fever.

Very rare (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people):

  • Liver inflammation (hepatitis) with temporary jaundice.
  • Inflammation in multiple joints (polyarthritis).

For a complete list of side effects, see the package leaflet. Consult a doctor if you experience side effects, also if the side effects are not listed in the package leaflet.

What Clindamycin contains

The active substance is clindamycin. The capsules contain clindamycin hydrochloride equivalent to 150 mg or 300 mg of clindamycin anhydrous per capsule.

Package leaflet

Read the package leaflet before use. The official package leaflet of Clindamycin is available for download here.

Patient Leaflet(s)

Reviewed by:

Dr Wouter Mol, General practitioner Registrationnumber: BIG: 9057675501 Last checked: 20-09-2023 | Still valid

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