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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
Clindamycin (klin-da-MYE-sin) 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, in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For topical clindamycin, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any of the other clindamycins (by mouth or by injection) or to lincomycin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives or dyes.
Pregnancy—Clindamycin has not been studied in pregnant women. However, this medicine has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies.
Breast-feeding—Small amounts of topical clindamycin are absorbed through the skin. It is possible that small amounts of the medicine may pass into the breast milk. However, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children—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.
Older adults—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.
Other medicines—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. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of topical clindamycin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
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.
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:
For patients using the topical solution form of clindamycin:
For patients using the topical suspension form of clindamycin:
Dosing—The dose of topical clindamycin 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 topical clindamycin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The number of doses you use each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you use the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using clindamycin .
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.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
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:
In some patients, clindamycin may cause diarrhea.
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.
Side Effects of This Medicine
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:
Abdominal or stomach cramps, pain, and bloating (severe); diarrhea (watery and severe), which may also be bloody; fever; increased thirst; nausea or vomiting; unusual tiredness or weakness; weight loss (unusual)—these side effects may also occur up to several weeks after you stop using this medicine
Also, check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Skin rash, itching, redness, swelling, or other sign of irritation not present before use of this medicine
Other 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. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Dryness, scaliness, or peeling of skin (for the topical solution)
Abdominal pain; diarrhea (mild); headache; irritation or oiliness of skin; stinging or burning feeling of skin
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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