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Clindamycin Topical



Clindamycin topical is used to treat severe acne (acne vulgaris) and vaginal infections caused by certain bacteria.

How it works

Clindamycin belongs to a class of medications called as lincomycin antibiotics. It inhibits the synthesis of essential bacterial proteins thereby stopping bacterial growth. In case of acne, in addition to killing of bacteria, clindamycin prevents spread of infection by reducing the free fatty acids on the skin surface that clog the pores of skin and promote overgrowth of bacteria.

Common side effects

Burning sensation, Application site irritation, Dry skin, Itching, Application site redness of skin


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Expert advice

  • Discontinue use of topical clindamycin and contact your doctor immediately, if you experience diarrhea or bloody diarrhea.
  • Avoid vaginal intercourse or use of other intravaginal products such as tampons or douches while using clindamycin cream. 
  • Clindamycin cream contains mineral oil that may weaken latex products (condoms and diaphragms) and may not provide adequate birth control. Therefore, do not use these products within 72 hours of using clindamycin cream.
  • Avoid direct contact of cream with your eyes. In case of direct contact, wash your eyes with water and seek immediate medical attention.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not use if you are allergic to clindamycin, lincomycin or any of its ingredients.
  • Do not use if you have Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines), antibiotic-associated colitis (colon inflammation).

Frequently asked questions

Clindamycin Topical

 Q. Can I use clindamycin with a penicillin allergy?
Clindamycin is considered safe for use in patients with a penicillin allergy.
Q. Does clindamycin treat acne scars?
Clindamycin can prevent the formation of new scars by preventing formation of new acne, but will not be useful for the scars already formed.
Q. Can clindamycin cream cause thrush?
Yes. Use of clindamycin cream may cause thrush (a type of fungal or yeast infection) in rare cases.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)