Drug information

Other Names:
Cleocin HCl, Cleocin Hydrochloride, Cleocin Pediatric, Cleocin Phosphate, clindamycin HCl, clindamycin palmitate hydrochloride
Drug Class:
Opportunistic Infections and Coinfections
Registry Number:
21462-39-5 (clindamycin hydrochloride; CAS); 25507-04-4 (clindamycin palmitate hydrochloride; CAS); 24729-96-2 (clindamycin phosphate; CAS)
What is clindamycin?What is clindamycin?

What is clindamycin?


Clindamycin is an antibacterial prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of serious infections caused by certain types of bacteria. Examples of the infections include serious respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, infections of the female pelvis and genital tract, and other infections.

Certain bacterial respiratory infections (such as community-acquired pneumonia) are opportunistic infections (OIs) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.

How is clindamycin used in people with HIV?How is clindamycin used in people with HIV?

How is clindamycin used in people with HIV?


The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV include recommendations on uses of clindamycin in people with HIV to:

Treat: Prevent:
  • Toxoplasma gondii encephalitis from recurring

The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of clindamycin. See the guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of clindamycin in adults and adolescents with HIV. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted above.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking clindamycin?What should I tell my health care provider before taking clindamycin?

What should I tell my health care provider before taking clindamycin?

Before taking clindamycin, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to clindamycin or any other medicines.
  • About any medical conditions you have or have had.
  • About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing or trouble with remembering a scheduled dose, or any health conditions that may prevent you from receiving medicine by injection or infusion.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Clindamycin should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Talk to your health care provider about the risks of taking clindamycin during pregnancy.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Clindamycin may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how clindamycin works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between clindamycin and the other medicines you take.

Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from clindamycin. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.

How should I take clindamycin?How should I take clindamycin?

How should I take clindamycin?

Take clindamycin according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much clindamycin to take and when to take it. Before you start clindamycin and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.

How should clindamycin be stored?How should clindamycin be stored?

How should clindamycin be stored?


  • Store clindamycin capsules, granules for oral solution, and solution for intravenous use at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Do not refrigerate the reconstituted oral solution; when chilled, the solution may thicken and be difficult to pour. The solution is stable for 2 weeks at room temperature.
  • Do not use clindamycin if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away clindamycin that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep clindamycin and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about clindamycin?Where can I find more information about clindamycin?

Where can I find more information about clindamycin?

More information about clindamycin is available:

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Granule (for solution); Injection (solution); Capsule.


Last Reviewed: December 19, 2018