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Brian J. Werth

, PharmD, University of Washington School of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020

Clindamycin belongs to a class of antibiotics called lincosamides. Clindamycin is used to treat serious bacterial infections, including some infections that are resistant to other antibiotics.

Clindamycin works by preventing bacteria from producing proteins they need to grow and multiply.


Common Uses

Some Side Effects

Streptococcal infections and staphylococcal infections

Respiratory infections

Lung abscess

Clostridioides difficile–induced diarrhea and colitis*

* Almost any antibiotic can cause Clostridioides difficile–induced diarrhea and inflammation of the colon (colitis), but clindamycin, penicillins, cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones are the most common causes.

(See also Overview of Antibiotics.)

Use of Clindamycin During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Clindamycin should be used during pregnancy only when the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks. (See also Drug Use During Pregnancy.)

Use of clindamycin during breastfeeding is not recommended. (See also Drug Use During Breastfeeding.)

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
Clindamycin CLEOCIN

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