Clindamycin (Topical Route) Proper Use (2023)

Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®

US Brand Name

  1. Cleocin T
  2. Clindacin ETZ
  3. Clindacin P
  4. Clindacin Pac
  5. Clinda-Derm
  6. Clindagel
  7. ClindaMax
  8. ClindaReach
  9. Clindets
  10. Evoclin
  11. Z-Clinz

Descriptions

Clindamycin belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. Topical clindamycin is used to help control acne. It may be used alone or with one or more other medicines that are used on the skin or taken by mouth for acne. Topical clindamycin may also be used for other problems as determined by your doctor.

Clindamycin is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Foam
  • Solution
  • Lotion
  • Pad
  • Gel/Jelly

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in children up to 12 years of age with use in other age groups.

(Video) Clindamycin gel for acne: Q&A with a dermatologist| Dr Dray

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Cholera Vaccine, Live
  • Erythromycin
  • Omaveloxolone

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Atracurium
  • Metocurine
  • Tubocurarine

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • History of stomach or intestinal disease (especially colitis, including colitis caused by antibiotics, or enteritis)—These conditions may increase the chance of side effects that affect the stomach and intestines

Proper Use

Before applying this medicine, thoroughly wash the affected areas with warm water and soap, rinse well, and pat dry.

When applying the medicine, use enough to cover the affected area lightly. You should apply the medicine to the whole area usually affected by acne, not just to the pimples themselves. This will help keep new pimples from breaking out.

(Video) How and When to use Clindamycin? (Cleocin, Dalacin and Clinacin) - Doctor Explains

You should avoid washing the acne-affected areas too often. This may dry your skin and make your acne worse. Washing with a mild, bland soap 2 or 3 times a day should be enough, unless you have oily skin. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Topical clindamycin will not cure your acne. However, to help keep your acne under control, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days. You may have to continue using this medicine every day for months or even longer in some cases. If you stop using this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return. It is important that you do not miss any doses.

For patients using the topical foam form of clindamycin:

  • After washing or shaving, it is best to wait 30 minutes before applying this medicine. The alcohol in it may irritate freshly washed or shaved skin.
  • This medicine contains alcohol and is flammable. Do not use near heat, near open flame, or while smoking.
  • To apply this medicine:
    • Do not dispense clindamycin topical foam directly onto your hands because the foam will begin to melt on contact with warm skin.
    • Remove the clear cap. Align the black mark with the nozzle of the actuator.
    • Hold the can upright and press firmly to dispense. Dispense amount that will cover the affected area(s) directly into the cap or onto a cool surface.
    • The can may be placed under cold running water if the can seems warm or the foam seems runny.
    • A small amount of topical foam should be picked up with your fingertips and massaged gently into the affected areas until the foam disappears.
    • Unused medicine that was removed from the can should be throw away.
    • Since this medicine contains alcohol, it will sting or burn. In addition, it has an unpleasant taste if it gets on the mouth or lips. Therefore, do not get this medicine in the eyes, nose, or mouth, or on other mucous membranes. Spread the medicine away from these areas when applying. If this medicine does get in the eyes, wash them out immediately, but carefully, with large amounts of cool tap water. If your eyes still burn or are painful, check with your doctor.
  • It is important that you do not use this medicine more often than your doctor ordered. It may cause your skin to become too dry or irritated.

For patients using the topical solution form of clindamycin:

  • After washing or shaving, it is best to wait 30 minutes before applying this medicine. The alcohol in it may irritate freshly washed or shaved skin.
  • This medicine contains alcohol and is flammable. Do not use near heat, near open flame, or while smoking.
  • To apply this medicine:
    • This medicine comes in a bottle with an applicator tip, which may be used to apply the medicine directly to the skin. Use the applicator with a dabbing motion instead of a rolling motion (not like a roll-on deodorant, for example). Tilt the bottle and press the tip firmly against your skin. If needed, you can make the medicine flow faster from the applicator tip by slightly increasing the pressure against the skin. If the medicine flows too fast, use less pressure. If the applicator tip becomes dry, turn the bottle upside down and press the tip several times to moisten it.
    • Since this medicine contains alcohol, it will sting or burn. In addition, it has an unpleasant taste if it gets on the mouth or lips. Therefore, do not get this medicine in the eyes, nose, or mouth, or on other mucous membranes. Spread the medicine away from these areas when applying. If this medicine does get in the eyes, wash them out immediately, but carefully, with large amounts of cool tap water. If your eyes still burn or are painful, check with your doctor.
  • It is important that you do not use this medicine more often than your doctor ordered. It may cause your skin to become too dry or irritated.

For patients using the topical suspension form of clindamycin:

  • Shake well before applying.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For topical dosage form (foam):
    • For acne:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and over—Apply once a day to areas affected by acne.
      • Infants and children up to 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For topical dosage forms (gel, solution, and suspension):
    • For acne:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and over—Apply two times a day to areas affected by acne.
      • Infants and children up to 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

(Video) How to apply topical acne medication

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions

If your acne does not improve within about 6 weeks, or if it becomes worse, check with your health care professional. However, treatment of acne may take up to 8 to 12 weeks before full improvement is seen.

If your doctor has ordered another medicine to be applied to the skin along with this medicine, it is best to apply them at different times. This may help keep your skin from becoming too irritated. Also, if the medicines are used at or near the same time, they may not work properly.

For patients using the topical solution form of clindamycin:

  • This medicine may cause the skin to become unusually dry, even with normal use. If this occurs, check with your doctor.

In some patients, clindamycin may cause diarrhea.

  • Severe diarrhea may be a sign of a serious side effect. Do not take any diarrhea medicine without first checking with your doctor . Diarrhea medicines may make your diarrhea worse or make it last longer.
  • For mild diarrhea, only diarrhea medicine containing attapulgite (e.g., Kaopectate, Diasorb) may be taken. Other kinds of diarrhea medicine (e.g., Imodium A.D. or Lomotil) should not be taken. They may make your condition worse or make it last longer.
  • If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your health care professional.

You may continue to use cosmetics (make-up) while you are using this medicine for acne. However, it is best to use only “water-base” cosmetics. Also, it is best not to use cosmetics too heavily or too often. They may make your acne worse. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

(Video) Clindac A Gel Before After | 1 Month Review | Clindamycin Phosphate Gel USP Review | How2 Treat Acne

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare

  1. Abdominal or stomach cramps, pain, and bloating (severe)
  2. diarrhea (watery and severe), which may also be bloody
  3. fever
  4. increased thirst
  5. nausea or vomiting
  6. unusual tiredness or weakness
  7. weight loss (unusual)—these side effects may also occur up to several weeks after you stop using this medicine

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  1. Skin rash, itching, redness, swelling, or other sign of irritation not present before use of this medicine

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Dryness, scaliness, or peeling of skin (for the topical solution)

Less common

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. diarrhea (mild)
  3. headache
  4. irritation or oiliness of skin
  5. stinging or burning feeling of skin

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Portions of this document last updated: April 01, 2023

Original article: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/clindamycin-topical-route/proper-use/DRG-20063064

(Video) Clindamycin phosphate topical gel how to use: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Contraindications

Copyright: © Merative US L.P. 1973, 2023. All rights reserved. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

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FAQs

Clindamycin (Topical Route) Proper Use? ›

When applying the medicine, use enough to cover the affected area lightly. You should apply the medicine to the whole area usually affected by acne, not just to the pimples themselves. This will help keep new pimples from breaking out. You should avoid washing the acne-affected areas too often.

What is the correct way to apply clindamycin? ›

Wash the affected area with warm water and gently pat dry with a clean towel. Use you fingertips to spread a thin layer of gel evenly over the affected area. Avoid getting the gel in your eyes, nose, mouth, or other body openings. If you do get the gel in your eyes, wash with warm water.

What happens if you use too much topical clindamycin? ›

Overdose symptoms include bloody or watery diarrhea, which may result if you absorb clindamycin topical through your skin by applying too much.

How long do you leave clindamycin on before moisturizer? ›

Topical antibiotics are usually used in the initial stages of a skincare routine, which can affect their chances to fully absorb. To make sure you get the most out of your acne medications, we recommend waiting about five minutes before applying other products to get the most out of the treatment.

What is clindamycin topical used for? ›

Topical clindamycin is used to treat acne. Clindamycin is in a class of medications called lincomycin antibiotics. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria that cause acne and by decreasing swelling.

How do I add clindamycin to my skin care routine? ›

Apply after cleansing

Wash your face with your favorite gentle cleanser in the morning or evening, and let it dry completely. Next, apply a thin layer of clindamycin to the affected areas of the face and neck, using just enough to lightly cover the area.

Do you rub in clindamycin? ›

Before applying this medicine, wash the affected area of your skin with warm water and a mild soap. Rinse well and pat dry. Apply a small amount of the medicine to each affected area of the skin (eg, forehead, chin, cheeks, chest, shoulders), and gently rub it in.

What to avoid with topical clindamycin? ›

What should I avoid while taking benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical? Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.

Can I put moisturizer over clindamycin topical? ›

Can I put moisturizer on over clindamycin? Topical medications like clindamycin should typically be applied to a clean face before applying moisturizer. Moisturizer can help minimize possible irritation as well as decrease dryness.

How long does topical clindamycin take to work? ›

Precautions. If your acne does not improve within about 6 weeks, or if it becomes worse, check with your health care professional. However, treatment of acne may take up to 8 to 12 weeks before full improvement is seen.

Can I leave clindamycin gel overnight? ›

You can leave the medicine overnight on the skin if you are using cream/gel/lotion formulations. However, if any irritation occurs, please stop usage and consult your doctor.

Does clindamycin gel dry out skin? ›

For patients using the topical solution form of clindamycin: This medicine may cause the skin to become unusually dry, even with normal use. If this occurs, check with your doctor.

Does clindamycin remove dark spots? ›

CLINDAMYCIN+TRETINOIN lightens post-acne dark spots by switching the damaged skin cells with newer ones. Thus, it lightens the tone of the skin and makes it brighter and stronger than before.

How long can I keep clindamycin on my face? ›

Topical clindamycin will not cure your acne. However, to help keep your acne under control, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days. You may have to continue using this medicine every day for months or even longer in some cases.

What is the major side effect of clindamycin? ›

IMPORTANT WARNING:

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).

Do you put clindamycin cream on before or after moisturizer? ›

Can I put moisturizer on over clindamycin? Clindamycin should be applied topically to the skin after washing it as directed by your dermatologist. After that, yes, you can (and should) apply a gentle moisturizer over it. This will help decrease irritation and dryness as well.

How many times a day should you use clindamycin cream? ›

For bacterial vaginosis: For vaginal dosage form (cream): Adults and children 13 years of age and older who are not pregnant—One applicatorful (100 milligrams [mg]) inserted into the vagina once a day for 3 or 7 days, usually at bedtime.

Is clindamycin a steroid? ›

Clindamycin is an antibiotic.

Can I layer vitamin C with clindamycin? ›

No interactions were found between clindamycin and Vitamin C.

Why can't you lay down right after taking clindamycin? ›

You should avoid lying down after taking the antibiotic clindamycin because it may slow the time it takes for the medication to move down your esophagus into your stomach, potentially causing irritation your esophagus.

Can clindamycin absorb through the skin? ›

Clindamycin is an antibiotic applied to the skin to treat acne. While only a small percentage of topical clindamycin is absorbed through skin, side effects such as diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, colitis, and pseudomembranous colitis have been reported.

Can you put clindamycin on an open pimple? ›

Topical clindamycin can be used to treat very inflamed forms of severe acne, including cystic and nodular acne. It can also be used on inflamed pimples that are hard to treat but not severe. Clindamycin can be used to treat inflammatory acne in teens and adults.

Does topical clindamycin enter bloodstream? ›

After topical application of 1% clindamycin hydrochloride, an average of 4% to 5% of clindamycin appears to be absorbed systemically, but greater amounts are absorbed in some individuals.

What to expect when using clindamycin cream? ›

What side effects can this medication cause?
  1. white patches in the mouth.
  2. thick, white vaginal discharge.
  3. burning, itching, and swelling of the vagina.
  4. burning, painful urination.
  5. vaginal pain.
  6. constipation.
  7. nausea.
  8. headache.
Oct 15, 2016

Is clindamycin topical a strong antibiotic? ›

Official answer. Clindamycin is a strong broad-spectrum antibiotic, typically prescribed for serious infections, such as life-threatening methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections.

Do you have to take clindamycin exactly 8 hours apart? ›

Adults—150 to 300 milligrams (mg) every 6 hours. For more severe infections, 300 to 450 mg every 6 hours. Children weighing 10 kilograms (kg) or more—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.

How long do you have to lie down after taking clindamycin? ›

Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this medication. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dose is also based on weight.

Which is better clindamycin lotion or gel? ›

A 65% reduction in inflammatory lesions count was observed after 12 weeks of treatment for both active treatments. Superiority analysis showed that the gel was superior to its vehicle for inflammatory lesions count reduction and Global Assessment of Improvement at final visit (p = 0.006 and p = 0.039 respectively).

Can topical clindamycin cause yeast infection? ›

This medicine may cause vaginal yeast infections (candidiasis). Check with your doctor right away if you have itching of the vagina or outside genitals, pain during sexual intercourse, or thick, white curd-like vaginal discharge without odor or with mild odor.

Does clindamycin make your skin brighter? ›

This medicine may also cause a temporary change in skin color (lighter or darker). Talk to your doctor if this concerns you. Tell your doctor if you are planning to have a surgery before using this medicine.

What should I avoid while using clindamycin? ›

Do not use latex (rubber) contraceptive products such as condoms, diaphragms, or cervical caps for 72 hours after stopping treatment with vaginal clindamycin cream. The cream contains oils that weaken or harm the latex products, causing them to not work properly to prevent pregnancy.

Why do you have to wait 10 minutes before lying down when taking clindamycin? ›

by Drugs.com

You should avoid lying down after taking the antibiotic clindamycin because it may slow the time it takes for the medication to move down your esophagus into your stomach, potentially causing irritation your esophagus.

What not to mix with clindamycin gel? ›

What should I avoid while taking benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical? Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.

How long does it take for clindamycin topical lotion to work? ›

It may take between 2 to 6 weeks to notice an improvement in your condition, and up to 12 weeks to see the full benefit. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens. Burning, itching, dryness, redness, oily skin or skin peeling may occur.

Why is clindamycin not recommended? ›

Clindamycin no longer recommended

This is because clindamycin is known to cause more severe adverse reactions such as C. diff. In fact, one dose of clindamycin has an equivalent risk of C. diff compared with a prolonged course.

When should you not use clindamycin? ›

Warnings. People with a history of pseudomembranous or ulcerative colitis should not take clindamycin. These two conditions cause severe inflammation of the lining of the intestine. The side effects of taking clindamycin can worsen these two conditions.

What happens if you use clindamycin for too long? ›

It is important that you do not use this medicine more often than your doctor ordered. It may cause your skin to become too dry or irritated.

Is clindamycin better in the morning or night? ›

The time of day you use clindamycin does not matter as long as you're consistent. If you apply your medication in the morning, do so every morning. Ideally, it should be done at the same time each day. If you're using your medication twice a day, apply your evening medication 12 hours after your morning medication.

Why do I feel weird after taking clindamycin? ›

This medication can cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, which can be severe. If you already have a gastrointestinal disease, taking clindamycin may worsen your condition. In this case, your doctor may recommend more frequent monitoring or a different treatment option for you.

Can I put moisturizer on top of clindamycin? ›

Can I put moisturizer on over clindamycin? Topical medications like clindamycin should typically be applied to a clean face before applying moisturizer. Moisturizer can help minimize possible irritation as well as decrease dryness.

Can I apply clindamycin overnight? ›

It is recommended to use ADAPALENE+CLINDAMYCIN at night and other products in the morning. However, please consult a doctor before using any other medicines or products with ADAPALENE+CLINDAMYCIN.

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