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Clindamycin Vaginal Cream (Cleocin, Clindesse): Uses, Dosage & Side Effects

What is clindamycin? What is clindamycin used for?

Clindamycin vaginal cream is indicated for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (formerly referred to as Haemophilus vaginitis, Gardnerella vaginitis, nonspecific vaginitis, Corynebacterium vaginitis, or anaerobic vaginosis) in non-pregnant women.

Clindamycin in general is an antibiotic used for treating several other infections as well. It is effective against several types of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Propionibacterium acnes. It reduces growth of bacteria by interfering with their ability to make proteins.

The FDA approved clindamycin vaginal suppositories in November, 2004.

What brand names are available for clindamycin-vaginal suppository?

Cleocin, Clindesse

Is clindamycin-vaginal suppository available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for clindamycin-vaginal suppository?


What are the side effects of vaginal clindamycin?

The most common side effects of clindamycin vaginal suppositories are:

  • vaginal moniliasis, a fungal infection
  • vulvovaginitis
  • vulvovaginal disorder
  • trichomonal vaginitis
  • moniliasis
  • itching.

Other side effects that may occur include:

Possible serious side effects of clindamycin include:

  • Orally administered and injected clindamycin may cause severe colitis (inflammation of the colon).
  • Vaginal formulations of clindamycin may be absorbed into the blood stream, and colitis with diarrhea or bloody diarrhea (including C.difficile colitis) have been reported with the use of clindamycin vaginal suppositories.


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What is the dosage for vaginal clindamycin?

  • Insert 1 suppository into the vagina at night for 3 days.
  • Patients should avoid vaginal intercourse or vaginal products (such as tampons or douches) during treatment with clindamycin vaginal suppositories.

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Is vaginal clindamycin safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • The frequency of congenital abnormalities was not increased when pregnant women used oral clindamycin during the second and third trimesters.
  • Pregnant women who used clindamycin vaginal cream during the second trimester reported abnormal labor more frequently than those who received placebo.
  • Clindamycin vaginal suppositories have not been properly evaluated during the first trimester of pregnancy. They should only be used during the first trimester of pregnancy when they are clearly needed.
  • Oral clindamycin is excreted in breast milk and should not be used by nursing mothers or nursing should be stopped.
  • It is not known whether clindamycin from vaginal suppositories is excreted in breast milk.

What else should I know about vaginal clindamycin?

What preparations of clindamycin-vaginal suppository are available?
  • Suppositories: 100 mg
How should I keep clindamycin-vaginal suppository stored?
  • Clindamycin vaginal suppositories should be stored at room temperature, 15 C – 30 C (59 F – 86 F).

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