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What Is Clindamycin Prescribed For?

As a type of antibiotic, clindamycin is available in several different forms and is approved for a variety of different uses.
Oral or injectable forms of clindamycin are prescribed to treat the following infections:
  • Serious respiratory tract infections
  • Serious skin infections
  • Serious soft tissue infections
  • Abdominal (stomach) infections or abscesses
  • Female pelvic infections
  • Bone, joint, or bloodstream infections (injectable form only).
Clindamycin lotions, gels, solution, or foams that are applied to the skin are approved for the treatment of acne. (Some acne medications combine clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide, another acne treatment.) The vaginal forms (creams and suppositories) are approved to treat bacterial vaginosis.
It is important to know that clindamycin is prescribed for treating infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to the drug. Also, bacteria have different resistance patterns in various regions in the country, which means that some bacteria may be susceptible to the medication in certain parts of the country but not in others. Clindamycin is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu.
(Click What Is Clindamycin Used For? for more information on what clindamycin is prescribed for. This article also describes how the medicine works, whether it is safe for children, and whether there are any off-label uses.)
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