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Serum level studies with a 150 mg oral dose of clindamycin hydrochloride in 24 normal adult volunteers showed that clindamycin was rapidly absorbed after oral administration. An average peak serum level of 2.50 mcg/mL was reached in 45 minutes; serum levels averaged 1.51 mcg/mL at 3 hours and 0.70 mcg/mL at 6 hours. Absorption of an oral dose is virtually complete (90%), and the concomitant administration of food does not appreciably modify the serum concentrations; serum levels have been uniform and predictable from person to person and dose to dose. Serum level studies following multiple doses of CLEOCIN (clindamycin) HCl for up to 14 days show no evidence of accumulation or altered metabolism of drug.
Concentrations of clindamycin in the serum increased linearly with increased dose. Serum levels exceed the MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) for most indicated organisms for at least six hours following administration of the usually recommended doses. Clindamycin is widely distributed in body fluids and tissues (including bones). The average biological half-life is 2.4 hours. Approximately 10% of the bioactivity is excreted in the urine and 3.6% in the feces; the remainder is excreted as bioinactive metabolites.
Doses of up to 2 grams of clindamycin per day for 14 days have been well tolerated by healthy volunteers except that the incidence of gastrointestinal side effects is greater with the higher doses.
No significant levels of clindamycin are attained in the cerebrospinal fluid, even in the presence of inflamed meninges.
Pharmacokinetic studies in elderly volunteers (61-79 years) and younger adults (18-39 years) indicate that age alone does not alter clindamycin pharmacokinetics (clearance, elimination half-life, volume of distribution, and area under the serum concentration-time curve) after IV administration of clindamycin phosphate. After oral administration of clindamycin hydrochloride, elimination half life is increased to approximately 4.0 hours (range 3.4-5.1 h) in the elderly compared to 3.2 hours (range 2.1 - 4.2 h) in younger adults. The extent of absorption, however, is not different between age groups and no dosage alteration is necessary for the elderly with normal hepatic function and normal (age adjusted) renal function.
Clindamycin inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by binding to the 50S subunit of the ribosome. It has activity against Gram-positive aerobes and anaerobes as well as the Gram-negative anaerobes. Clindamycin is bacteriostatic. Cross-resistance between clindamycin and lincomycin is complete. Antagonism in vitro has been demonstrated between clindamycin and erythromycin.
Clindamycin has been shown to be active against most of the isolates of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections, as described in the INDICATIONS section.
Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible strains)
Streptococcus pneumoniae (penicillin-susceptible strains)
The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown. At least 90% of the following microorganisms exhibit an in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for clindamycin. However, the safety and effectiveness of clindamycin in treating clinical infections due to these microorganisms have not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.
Staphylococcus epidermidis (methicillin-susceptible strains)
Micromonas ("Peptostreptococcus") micros
Finegoldia ("Peptostreptococcus") magna
Susceptibility Testing Methods
NOTE: Susceptibility testing by dilution methods requires the use of clindamycin susceptibility powder.
When available, the results of in vitro susceptibility tests should be provided to the physician as periodic reports that describe the susceptibility profile of nosocomial and community-acquired pathogens. These reports should aid the physician in selecting the most effective antimicrobial.
Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The MICs should be determined using a standardized procedure. Standardized procedures are based on a dilution method (broth and agar)1,2,3 or equivalent with standardized inoculum concentrations and standardized concentrations of clindamycin powder.The MIC values should be interpreted according to the criteria provided in Table 1.
Quantitative methods that require the measurement of zone diameters also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. One such standardized procedure2,3 requires the use of standardized inoculum concentrations. This procedure uses paper disks impregnated with 2 mcg of clindamycin to test the susceptibility of microorganisms to clindamycin. The disk diffusion interpretive criteria are provided in Table 1.
Table 1. Susceptibility Interpretive Criteria for Clindamycin
|Pathogen||Susceptibility Interpretive Criteria|
| Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations
(MIC in mcg/mL)
| Disk Diffusion
(Zone Diameters in mm)
|Staphylococcus spp.|| S
|Streptococcus pneumoniae and other Streptococcus spp.||≤ 0.25*||0.5||≥ 1||≥ 19†||16-18||≤ 15|
|Anaerobic Bacteria‡||≤ 2||4||≥ 8||NA||NA||NA|
* These interpretive standards for S. pneumoniae and other Streptococcus spp. are applicable only to tests performed by broth microdilution using cation-adjusted Mueller-Hinton broth with 2 to 5% lysed horse blood inoculated with a direct colony suspension and incubated in ambient air at 35°C for 20 to 24 hours.
† These zone diameter interpretive standards are applicable only to tests performed using Mueller-Hinton agar supplemented with 5% sheep blood inoculated with a direct colony suspension and incubated in 5% CO2 at 35°C for 20 to 24 hours.
‡These interpretive criteria are for all anaerobic bacterial pathogens; no organism specific interpretive criteria are available.
A report of "Susceptible" indicates that the pathogen is likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in the blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable. A report of "Intermediate" indicates that the result should be considered equivocal, and if the microorganism is not fully susceptible to alternative, clinically feasible drugs, the test should be repeated. This category implies possible clinical applicability in body sites where the drug is physiologically concentrated or in situations where high dosage of drug can be used. This category also provides a buffer zone that prevents small, uncontrolled technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretation. A report of "Resistant" indicates that the pathogen is not likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in the blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable; other therapy should be selected.
Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of quality control microorganisms to control the technical aspects of the test procedures. Standard clindamycin powder should provide the following range of values noted in Table 2. NOTE: Quality control microorganisms are specific strains of organisms with intrinsic biological properties relating to resistance mechanisms and their genetic expression within bacteria; the specific strains used for microbiological quality control are not clinically significant.
Table 2. Acceptable Quality Control Ranges for Clindamycin
to be Used in Validation of Susceptibility Test Results
|QC Strain||Acceptable Quality Control Ranges|
| Minimum Inhibitory Concentration
(MIC in mcg/mL)
| Disk Diffusion
(Zone Diameters inmm)
|When Testing Aerobic Pathogens|
|Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213||0.06-0.25||NA|
|Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923||NA||24-30|
|Streptococcus pneumoniae ATCC 49619||0.03-0.12†||19-25‡|
|When Testing Strict Anaerobes|
|Bacteroides fragilis ATCC 25285||0.5-2||NA|
|Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron ATCC 29741||2-8||NA|
|Eubacterium lentum ATCC 43055||0.06-0.25||NA|
| NA=Not applicable ATCC® is a registered
trademark of the American Type Culture Collection
* This organism may be used for validation of susceptibility test results when testing Streptococcus spp. other than S pneumoniae.
† This quality control range for S pneumoniae is applicable only to tests performed by broth microdilution using cation-adjusted Mueller-Hinton broth with 2 to 5% lysed horse blood inoculated with a direct colony suspension and incubated in ambient air at 35°C for 20 to 24 hours.
‡ This quality control zone diameter range is applicable only to tests performed using Mueller-Hinton agar supplemented with 5% sheep blood inoculated with a direct colony suspension and incubated in 5% CO2 at 35°C for 20 to 24 hours.
One year oral toxicity studies in Spartan Sprague-Dawley rats and beagle dogs at dose levels up to 300 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.6 and 5 4 times the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m2, respectively) have shown clindamycin to be well tolerated. No appreciable difference in pathological findings has been observed between groups of animals treated with clindamycin and comparable control groups. Rats receiving clindamycin hydrochloride at 600 mg/kg/day (approximately 3.2 times the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m2) for 6 months tolerated the drug well; however, dogs dosed at this level (approximately 10.8 times the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m2) vomited, would not eat, and lost weight.
1. NCCLS. Methods for Dilution Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria that Grow Aerobically; Approved Standard-5th ed. NCCLS document M7-A5, 2000. NCCLS, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, PA 19087-1898.
2. NCCLS. Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing: 13th Informational Supplement. NCCLS document M100-S13 (M2 & M7), 2003. NCCLS, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, PA 19087-1898.
3. NCCLS. Methods for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Anaerobic Bacteria 5th ed. Approved Standard. NCCLS document M11-A5, 2001. NCCLS, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, PA 19087-1898.
4. NCCLS. Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk Susceptibility Tests; Approved Standard-8th ed. NCCLS document M2-A8 (ISBN 1-56238-393-0), 2003. NCCLS, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, PA 19087-1898.
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/13/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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