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What is Clindamycin Cream?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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Clindamycin is the generic name for a type of lincosamide antibiotics. This class of medicine is used to undermine the development of bacteria and thus treat infection. Clindamycin cream is generally used to treat vaginal infection, most commonly, bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis can mimic other conditions, from common yeast infections to sexually transmitted diseases. It is important to have any symptoms, such as discharge, irritation, or unusual odor, checked out by a health-care provider. Treatment is simpler when the correct diagnosis is established. If clindamycin cream is prescribed, use only as directed. As with all medications, there are possible side effects.

It is important to use the entire course of clindamycin cream or any type of antibiotic that one has been told to use, even if the symptoms diminish or seem to go away. Otherwise, the infection may not be fully eliminated and another course of medication may be required. Not using the full dosage can cause bacteria to become resistant to this antibiotic and overuse of this product may also lead to secondary infection or other serious problems.

Any allergies to medications should be noted before using clindamycin cream, as should any other drug usage, including over the counter medicines and supplements. This product should not be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers, or people with kidney or liver disease unless under the express direction and care of a physician. A licensed, qualified health-care provider is the only person who can give medical advice. All other descriptions of medicines or treatments should be considered purely informational.

Side effects are often mild and common ones may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, discharge, or irritation of the treated area. More severe antibiotic side effects may include bloody stool with or without severe abdominal cramping, hives or rashes, blisters, troubled breathing, or less frequent elimination of urine. Any severe side effects need to be reported to the doctor immediately as they can be serious or even fatal but even common or mild side effects should be assessed by a professional.

There is some controversy over whether or not clindamycin cream should be the first choice for treating vaginal infection. Some studies indicate that it may not be effective as medications such as metronidazole and that re-occurrence of vaginal infection may be more likely with the former. Apparently, clindamycin cream may kill “good” bacteria along with the bad, which may require a longer period of time to pass before balance is restored in the body. Such issues should be discussed with the doctor if one is concerned. A patient should never hesitate to ask questions or seek reassurance that the prescribed medication is the safest and best one for the situation.

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