Cleocin, a brand name under which the drug clindamycin is sold, is part of a group of medications called lincosamides or lincomycin antibiotics. It’s a medication used to treat all kinds of bacterial infections. Cleocin works by getting into the RNA of bacteria and altering these cells so they can't manufacture any proteins, which in turn means these bacteria cannot grow or reproduce. The bacteria that are causing the disease in a patient will thus die out. This medication can also bring down the swelling and inflammation that often come with bacterial infections. A short list of the bacterial infections that Cleocin can fight would include bone and joint infections, bacterial skin infections, and infections of the pelvis, genitals and respiratory system. One kind of bacterial infection that Cleocin is not used to treat, however, is a meningeal infection, as this medication has trouble getting into a person’s cerebrospinal fluid. This drug does not work against viral infections, either.
Cleocin comes in both pill form and liquid form. Most patients take it about three or four times each day for fourteen days or so. The average dosage of this drug tends to be around 300 milligrams, although children of course will take less. However you take this medication, you will want to do so with a full glass of water to prevent it from irritating your throat or the lining of your stomach. You also have to measure out every dose you take as carefully as you can.
In many instances Cleocin is not a doctor’s first drug of choice because it so powerful. Therefore, in many instances a doctor will prescribe Cleocin only after one or more other, milder kinds of antibiotics have been tried. Because it is so toxic, if you are going to take Cleocin you must brace yourself for potentially vicious side effects. These include varying degrees of cramps, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, drowsiness and pain in the joints. It’s possible you could have diarrhea for several days, too. If you find at any point that your diarrhea is bloody, you need to call your doctor, as this could be a sign that you have a new infection in addition to the one that’s being treated with Cleocin. It is also possible, in very rare instances, to develop colitis from Cleocin use. Colitis is an infection of the intestines for which you will have to take special medications, and maybe even undergo surgery; it can be a life-threatening condition.
You have to let your doctor know if you have ever had liver disease, kidney disease, asthma, eczema or another kind of skin disorder, or an intestinal disorder such as Crohn’s disease before you are prescribed Cleocin. In any of these cases, you might not be allowed to go on this drug. And you definitely won’t be able to use this drug if you are allergic to either lincomycin or clindamycin; if you’re not sure you might want to have your allergies tested beforehand. Also, you won’t be able to take erythromycin if you are also taking Cleocin.
It’s possible your doctor will want to see you regularly for the entire length of time you’re on Cleocin. You should show up for all of these check-ups, as you doctor will likely test your blood and examine how well your liver and kidneys are holding up under this powerful medication. And if you have to go in for any kind of surgery, including dental surgery, inform the staff about your Cleocin use. They may arrange it so you can suspend your Cleocin dosages immediately before and after the surgery, as it isn’t wise to go into surgery while you have this drug in your system.