November 28, 2015
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Side Effects


The following reactions have been reported with the use of clindamycin.


Abdominal pain, pseudomembranous colitis, esophagitis, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (see WARNING box). The onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antibacterial treatment (see WARNINGS). Esophageal ulcer has been reported.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Generalized mild to moderate morbilliform-like (maculopapular) skin rashes are the most frequently reported adverse reactions. Vesiculobullous rashes, as well as urticaria, have been observed during drug therapy. Severe skin reactions such as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, some with fatal outcome, have been reported (See WARNINGS). Cases of Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP), erythema multiforme, some resembling Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and anaphylactoid reactions have also been reported.

Skin and Mucous Membranes

Pruritus, vaginitis, and rare instances of exfoliative dermatitis have been reported. (See Hypersensitivity Reactions .)


Jaundice and abnormalities in liver function tests have been observed during clindamycin therapy.


Although no direct relationship of clindamycin to renal damage has been established, renal dysfunction as evidenced by azotemia, oliguria, and/or proteinuria has been observed.


Transient neutropenia (leukopenia) and eosinophilia have been reported. Reports of agranulocytosis and thrombocytopenia have been made. No direct etiologic relationship to concurrent clindamycin therapy could be made in any of the foregoing.

Immune System

Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) cases have been reported.


Cases of polyarthritis have been reported.

Read the Cleocin (clindamycin) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


Clindamycin has been shown to have neuromuscular blocking properties that may enhance the action of other neuromuscular blocking agents. Therefore, it should be used with caution in patients receiving such agents.

Antagonism has been demonstrated between clindamycin and erythromycin in vitro. Because of possible clinical significance, these two drugs should not be administered concurrently.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/19/2015

Side Effects

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