Cleocin (Clindamycin) Dosage and Side Effects
CLEOCIN is an antibiotic used to treat certain serious bacterial infections.
Warnings and Precautions
CLEOCIN has a high-priority, FDA-issued warning about your risk of developing a dangerous, infectious and difficult-to-treat form of diarrhea.
CLEOCIN changes the balance of microorganisms in your intestines, allowing growth of bacteria called Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). The bacteria produce toxins and inflammation that can cause diarrhea and damage your intestines.
After taking CLEOCIN, diarrhea can take months to develop, and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include frequent diarrhea with loose, watery stool that has an extremely foul smell.
People who take CLEOCIN for long periods of time are at increased risk of developing C. difficile diarrhea. The infection is often picked up in hospitals or nursing homes, where there are also types of C. difficile that are resistant to treatment. Therefore, your doctor should only prescribe CLEOCIN for serious infections that other drugs won't treat.
If you are allergic to CLEOCIN or lincomycin, you should not take CLEOCIN.
Tell your doctor if you are taking erythromycin, because CLEOCIN and erythromycin should never be taken together.
Tell your doctor right away if you develop severe forms of any of the following symptoms that do not go away while taking CLEOCIN:
•Any problems swallowing, including pain while swallowing
•Other mouth or throat symptoms, such as white spots, redness, or discomfort in your mouth area; a sore throat; or cracks in the corners of your lips (an infection called thrush)
•Genital-area problems, such as burning, itching, creamy discharge, or swelling in your vagina; red rash, itching or burning on your penis
Before taking CLEOCIN, also let your doctor know if:
•You are allergic to CLEOCIN, lincomycin, or any of these drugs' ingredients
•You have Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, any other type of colitis, or any condition that affects your intestines
•You have meningitis
Pregnancy and CLEOCIN
CLEOCIN falls under the FDA's Pregnancy Category B, because it has not been shown to harm a fetus. Regardless, you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medication.
CLEOCIN is not recommended if you are breastfeeding. You should also alert your doctor before taking the drug if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Common Side Effects of CLEOCIN
Tell your doctor or seek immediate medical help if any of the following common side effects of CLEOCIN do not go away or become severe:
•Mild rash or itching
•Stomach pain, nausea
Serious Side Effects and Reactions
Contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care if you have any of the following while taking CLEOCIN:
•Skin problems, such as hives, rash, red, shedding, or peeling skin
•Yellow appearance of the skin, nails, or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
•Vomiting, severe stomach pain, or diarrhea
•Signs of low blood pressure, ranging from dizziness to fainting
•Pain or difficulties when swallowing; pain behind the breastbone; newly developed heartburn or acid regurgitation (signs of inflammation in your esophagus)
•Vein irritation (if you are receiving injections of CLEOCIN)
•Fever or body aches
Blisters or swelling in your lips, mouth, eyes, ears, nose, or genital areas
•Signs of abnormal bleeding caused by low blood-clotting cells (thrombocytopenia), such as: easy bruising, red pin-prick spots on the skin, gums bleeding when you brush your teeth
•Abnormal high or low levels of certain white blood cells (eosinophils and granulocytes) showing up in blood tests
In rare cases, some people may actually experience their throat closing up and trouble breathing (anaphylaxis). These are life-threatening situations. If you are having these symptoms, you should immediately stop taking CLEOCIN and call 911.
Interactions with this medication
It is always important to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your treatments. Not just your prescription drugs, but also things that may not seem like medication, such as: over-the-counter (OTC) medications; vitamins, nutritional shakes, protein powders, and other supplements; herbal treatments or other alternative medicines; and any illegal or recreational drugs.
The following drugs are known to interact with CLEOCIN:
•Botulinum toxin A (Botox)
•Many birth-control treatments, including ones that contain the following: desogestrel, dienogest, drospirenone, estradiol, ethynodiol, levonorgestrel, mestranol, norelgestromin, norgestimate, and norgestrel
•Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept, Myfortic)
•Many drugs that are used during surgery, such as the muscle-controlling drugs atracurium (Tacrum), cisatrcurium (Nimbex), pancuronium (Pavulon), rocuronium (Zemuron, Esmeron), and vecuronium (Norcuron)
CLEOCIN and Grapefruit Juice
You should avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking CLEOCIN.
Grapefruit juice decreases the body's ability to break down CLEOCIN, which could cause the drug to rise to dangerously high levels in your blood.
CLEOCIN and Other Interactions
You should not take CLEOCIN if you are taking bacillus Calmette-Guerin (known as BCG, or Theracys), a treatment for tuberculosis, leprosy, bladder cancer and other conditions.
Proper Use of this medication
CLEOCIN comes in 150 milligram (mg) and 300 mg capsules. You should receive no more than 4,800 mg of CLEOCIN in a day, and that dose is normally only for people receiving CLEOCIN via injection into the thigh.
You can take CLEOCIN with or without food, but always with a full glass of water to help prevent it from bothering your throat.
It's very important that you continue taking the medication as prescribed until you have finished it all, even if your symptoms improve and you start to feel better.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.