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Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
A careful inquiry should be made concerning previous sensitivities to drugs and other allergens.
This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol has been associated with a fatal "Gasping Syndrome" in premature infants. (See PRECAUTIONS–Pediatric Use.)
Usage in Meningitis - Since clindamycin does not diffuse adequately into the cerebrospinal fluid, the drug should not be used in the treatment of meningitis.
SERIOUS ANAPHYLACTOID REACTIONS REQUIRE IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY TREATMENT WITH EPINEPHRINE. OXYGEN AND INTRAVENOUS CORTICOSTEROIDS SHOULD ALSO BE ADMINISTERED AS INDICATED.
Review of experience to date suggests that a subgroup of older patients with associated severe illness may tolerate diarrhea less well. When clindamycin is indicated in these patients, they should be carefully monitored for change in bowel frequency.
CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE products should be prescribed with caution in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal disease, particularly colitis.
CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE should be prescribed with caution in atopic individuals.
Certain infections may require incision and drainage or other indicated surgical procedures in addition to antibiotic therapy.
The use of CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms - particularly yeasts. Should superinfections occur, appropriate measures should be taken as indicated by the clinical situation.
CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE should not be injected intravenously undiluted as a bolus, but should be infused over at least 10–60 minutes as directed in the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section.
Clindamycin dosage modification may not be necessary in patients with renal disease. In patients with moderate to severe liver disease, prolongation of clindamycin half-life has been found. However, it was postulated from studies that when given every eight hours, accumulation should rarely occur. Therefore, dosage modification in patients with liver disease may not be necessary. However, periodic liver enzyme determinations should be made when treating patients with severe liver disease.
Prescribing CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Information for Patients
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
During prolonged therapy periodic liver and kidney function tests and blood counts should be performed.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long term studies in animals have not been performed with clindamycin to evaluate carcinogenic potential. Genotoxicity tests performed included a rat micronucleus test and an Ames Salmonella reversion test. Both tests were negative.
Fertility studies in rats treated orally with up to 300 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.1 times the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m2) revealed no effects on fertility or mating ability.
Pregnancy category B
Reproduction studies performed in rats and mice using oral doses of clindamycin up to 600 mg/kg/day (2.1 and 1.1 times the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m2, respectively) or subcutaneous doses of clindamycin up to 250 mg/kg/day (0.9 and 0.5 times the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m2, respectively) revealed no evidence of teratogenicity.
There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of the human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Clindamycin has been reported to appear in breast milk in the range of 0.7 to 3.8 mcg/mL at dosages of 150 mg orally to 600 mg intravenously. Because of the potential for adverse reactions due to clindamycin in neonates (see Pediatric Use), the decision to discontinue the drug should be made, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
When CLEOCIN PHOSPHATE Sterile Solution is administered to the pediatric population (birth to 16 years) appropriate monitoring of organ system functions is desirable.
Usage in Newborns and Infants
This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol has been associated with a fatal "Gasping Syndrome" in premature infants.
The potential for the toxic effect in the pediatric population from chemicals that may leach from the single dose premixed IV preparation in plastic has not been evaluated.
Clinical studies of clindamycin did not include sufficient numbers of patients age 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. However, other reported clinical experience indicates that antibiotic-associated colitis and diarrhea (due to Clostridium difficile) seen in association with most antibiotics occur more frequently in the elderly ( > 60 years) and may be more severe. These patients should be carefully monitored for the development of diarrhea.
Pharmacokinetic studies with clindamycin have shown no clinically important differences between young and elderly subjects with normal hepatic function and normal (age-adjusted) renal function after oral or intravenous administration.
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/3/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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