Antibiotics Home > Cleocin

Cleocin is available by prescription only and is used for treating certain bacterial infections. This antibiotic works by preventing bacteria from growing and multiplying. It comes in several different forms, including capsules, skin products, vaginal suppositories, and injections. Common side effects include dry skin, diarrhea, and skin irritation.

What Is Cleocin?

Cleocin® (clindamycin) is a prescription antibiotic. It is available in many different forms, including capsules, skin products, vaginal suppositories, and injections. This medicine is used to treat a variety of different infections.
(Click Cleocin Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Cleocin?

Brand-name Cleocin products are made by Pfizer, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.

How Does It 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.

When and How to Take Cleocin

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Cleocin include the following:
  • This medication comes in many different forms. The particular directions for each product can vary substantially, so make sure to refer to the information for your specific product.
  • When taking Cleocin by mouth, it generally does not matter if you take it with or without food.
  • For the medicine to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not miss doses or stop taking this antibiotic earlier than your healthcare provider recommends, as bacterial resistance may develop.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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