Antibiotics Home > Cleocin Uses

Cleocin is an antibiotic used to treat certain bacterial infections, such as serious respiratory tract infections, acne, and female pelvic infections. Various forms of this medication are available, including skin products, solutions, capsules, and injections. On occasion, a healthcare provider may recommend off-label uses for Cleocin, such as treating and preventing other types of skin infections.

What Is Cleocin Used For?

Cleocin® (clindamycin) is a prescription antibiotic. It is available in several different forms and is approved for a variety of different uses. Oral or injectable forms of Cleocin are used to treat the following infections:
  • Abdominal (stomach) infections or abscesses
  • Female pelvic infections
  • Serious respiratory tract infections
  • Serious skin infections
  • Serious soft tissue infections
  • Bone, joint, or bloodstream infections (injectable form only).
Cleocin lotions, gels, or solutions applied to the skin are approved for the treatment of acne. Cleocin vaginal forms (creams and suppositories) are approved to treat bacterial vaginosis.
Cleocin is used for treating infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to this medication. Also, bacteria have difference resistance patterns in different regions in the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to Cleocin in certain parts of the country but not in others.
This medicine is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses such as the common cold or the flu.

How Does Cleocin Work?

This medication belongs to a group of antibiotics known as lincosamides. It works by inhibiting a specific area of bacterial ribosomes, which are parts of cells that make proteins. By inhibiting the ribosomes, Cleocin interferes with the ability of bacteria to make proteins, a process that is necessary for the bacteria to grow and multiply.
Specifically, Cleocin inhibits the 50S subunit of the ribosome. Because human cells do not have a 50S subunit, they are spared from the effects of the antibiotic.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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