Clindesse Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 9/13/2021
Clindesse Side Effects Center

What Is Clindesse?

Clindesse (clindamycin phosphate) is an antibiotic is used to treat a certain type of vaginal infection (bacterial vaginosis) in women who are not pregnant.

What Are Side Effects of Clindesse?

Common side effects of Clindesse include:

These symptoms may be due to a new vaginal infection (e.g., yeast/fungal infection)

Contact your doctor if you notice a change in vaginal discharge or other new vaginal symptoms.

Dosage for Clindesse

The recommended dose is the complete contents of a single pre-filled applicator containing 5 g of Clindesse cream administered once intravaginally at any time of the day.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Clindesse?

Clindesse may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Clindesse During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Clindesse should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if the medication in Clindesse passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Clindesse (clindamycin phosphate) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Clindesse Professional Information


Clinical Study Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The data described below reflect exposure to Clindesse in 368 patients. Clindesse was studied in three clinical studies: placebo-controlled (n=85), active-controlled (n=263), and single-arm (n=20). The population was female, aged 18 to 78, who were diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis. Patient demographics in the trials were 51% Caucasian, 36% Black, 10% Hispanic, and 3% Asian, other or unknown. All patients received 100 mg clindamycin phosphate cream intravaginally in a single dose.

Of the 368 women treated with a single dose of Clindesse, 1.6% of the patients discontinued therapy due to adverse reactions. Adverse reactions occurred in 126 of 368 patients (34%) treated with Clindesse and in 32 of 85 patients (38%) treated with placebo.

Adverse reactions occurring in ≥2% of patients receiving Clindesse in the placebo-controlled clinical trial are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥2% of Clindesse-Treated Patients and at a Higher Rate than Placebo-Treated Patients

Adverse Event Clindesse
n %
n %
Vaginosis fungal NOS* 12 (14) 7 (8)
Headache NOS 6 (7) 2 (2)
Back Pain 4 (5) 1 (1)
Constipation 2 (2) 0 (0)
Urinary tract infection NOS 2 (2) 0 (0)
N = number of patients in intent-to-treat population
n (%) = number and percentage of patients with reported adverse reaction
NOS = not otherwise specified

The use of clindamycin may result in the overgrowth of non-susceptible fungal organisms in the vagina and may require antifungal treatment

Other reactions reported by <1% of those women treated with Clindesse include:

Dermatologic: Pruritic rash

Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, vomiting

General: Fatigue

Immune System: Hypersensiitivity

Nervous System: Dizziness

Reproductive System: Dysfunctional uterine bleeding, dysmennorrhea, intermenstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, vaginal burning, vaginal irritation, vulvar erythema, vulvitis, vulvovaginal discomfort, vulvovaginal dryness, vulvovaginitis

Other Clindamycin Formulations

Clindesse affords minimal peak serum levels and systemic exposure (AUCs) of clindamycin compared to an oral or intravenous dose of clindamycin [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Data from well-controlled trials directly comparing clindamycin administered orally to clindamycin administered vaginally are not available.

The following additional adverse reactions and altered laboratory tests have been reported with the oral or parenteral use of clindamycin:

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, esophagitis, nausea, Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hematopoietic: Transient neutropenia (leukopenia), eosinophilia, agranulocytosis, and thrombocytopenia have been reported. No direct etiologic relationship to concurrent clindamycin therapy could be made in any of these reports.

Hypersensitivity Reactions: Maculopapular rash, vesiculobullous rash, and urticaria have been observed during drug therapy. Generalized mild to moderate morbilliform-like skin rashes are the most frequently reported of all adverse reactions. Cases of erythema multiforme, some resembling Stevens-Johnson syndrome, have been associated with clindamycin. A few cases of anaphylactoid reactions have been reported.

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

Musculoskeletal: Cases of polyarthritis have been reported.

Renal: 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 in rare instances.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of Clindesse. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Dermatologic: Rash

Gastrointestinal: Hematochezia

Reproductive System: Vaginal erythema, vulvovaginal pruritis, vaginal discharge, vaginal swelling, vaginal bleeding, vaginal pain


No formal drug interaction studies have been conducted for Clindesse.

Neuromuscular Blocking Agents

Orally or intravenously administered clindamycin has 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.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Clindesse (Clindamycin Phosphate)


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© Clindesse Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Clindesse Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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