Your doctor may prescribe clindamycin hydrochloride (KLIN-da-MYE-sin hye-dro-KLOR-ide), or clindamycin HCl, to treat bacterial infections. Marketed under the brand name Cleocin, it is an antibiotic that stops the growth of bacteria.
Skin infections, abdominal infections and breathing-related problems are among illnesses that your doctor may treat with clindamycin HCl. It is used to treat Staphylococcus pneumonia and similar conditions, as well as people exposed to anthrax or malaria.
Clindamycin HCl comes in liquid and capsule form and may also be sold as a topical gel. The gel is used to treat acne and skin or vaginal infections.
Clindamycin HCl treats infections caused by bacteria, not viruses, and will not work for viral infections like the common cold or flu.
Your doctor will take into account your medical condition, how you respond to treatment and your weight when prescribing clindamycin HCl. Follow your doctor's instructions. The drug will work better if you take it at evenly spaced intervals.
Take the drug until gone, even if you start to feel better. Just because you feel better doesn't mean all the bacteria is gone. If you stop too soon, the infection may return.
You should not take clindamycin HCL if you have certain medical conditions, including the intestinal condition Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, kidney disease, other stomach or intestinal disease or any allergic conditions.
Many people have reported side effects while taking clindamycin HCl. Less serious side effects include:
- Pain, swelling or redness in joints
- Nausea, vomiting or mild stomach pain
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Talk to your doctor immediately if you have more serious side effects including:
- Blistering, peeling or a red skin rash
- A change in how much or how often you urinate
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat and body aches
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools
- Severe stomach pain
- Yellow skin or eyes
- Unusual bleeding, bruising or weakness
Signs of an allergic reaction include itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, a tingling or swelling in your mouth or throat, trouble breathing or chest tightness. Call your doctor right away if you think you are having an allergic reaction.
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