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Clindamycin Warnings and Precautions

Before you start treatment with clindamycin, precautions and warnings for the drug should be reviewed with your healthcare provider to help minimize complications. For example, you may not be able to take clindamycin safely if you have liver disease, colitis, or frequent yeast infections. Warnings and precautions also apply to people with certain allergies and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Clindamycin?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking clindamycin if you have:
 
  • Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Colitis
  • Frequent yeast infections
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Clindamycin Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking clindamycin include the following:
 
  • Antibiotics like clindamycin can disrupt the normal bacteria in the digestive tract, allowing undesirable bacteria to overgrow. A serious problem known as pseudomembranous colitis may result and can occur while you are taking the drug or even weeks later. Make sure to watch for signs of this problem, which can become life-threatening, such as bloody diarrhea or severe diarrhea. Mild, short-term diarrhea is a common side effect of many antibiotics and is usually not a cause for concern.
     
  • While pseudomembranous colitis is most common with oral or IV clindamycin, it is possible with other forms of the medication that are applied to the skin or inserted vaginally as well.
     
  • Clindamycin should not be used to treat meningitis, as it does not adequately cross to the cerebrospinal fluid.
     
  • This medication can disrupt the normal bacteria in the vagina, which may lead to yeast infections.
     
  • If long-term treatment is necessary, your healthcare provider should regularly monitor your kidney and liver health. This is probably only an issue for the oral or injectable forms of the medicine.
     
  • Clindamycin can potentially interact with several other medications (see Clindamycin Drug Interactions).
     
  • Clindamycin is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it may be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Clindamycin and Pregnancy).
     
  • This medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to beginning treatment (see Clindamycin and Breastfeeding).
     
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