How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Clindamycin is an antibiotic that is available in a variety of forms. The vaginal cream is used to treat infections of the vagina that are caused by certain bacteria.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each 1 g of semi-solid white cream contains clindamycin 20 mg (as clindamycin phosphate). Each full applicator (one dose) contains clindamycin 100 mg (as clindamycin phosphate) in 5 g of cream. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzyl alcohol, cetostearyl alcohol, cetyl palmitate, mineral oil, polysorbate 60, propylene glycol, purified water, sorbitan monostearate, and stearic acid.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose is 5 g (one full applicator) into the vagina at bedtime for 7 consecutive nights. Women who are menstruating should wait until menstruation has stopped before using this medication.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
Clindamycin vaginal cream must be used for the recommended duration of treatment, even if you are feeling better. This will ensure that any lingering bacteria won't grow back.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use clindamycin vaginal cream if you:
- are allergic to clindamycin or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- are allergic to lincomycin
- have a history of colitis caused by antibiotic use
- have a history of inflammatory bowel disease
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- itching of the vagina or genital area
- nausea or vomiting
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- burning, itching, rash, redness, swelling
- pain when urinating
- thick, white vaginal discharge with no odour or with mild odour
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of an allergic reaction (e.g., rash, hives, swelling of the lips or face, difficulty breathing)
- signs of inflammation of the digestive system (e.g., abdominal or stomach pain, bloody or watery severe diarrhea, severe nausea, vomiting)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergies: Some people with skin allergies may experience worsening symptoms and irritation of the vaginal area when using clindamycin vaginal cream. If you have skin allergies, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Birth control: This cream contains mineral oil. Mineral oil may weaken latex or rubber products such as condoms or vaginal contraceptive diaphragms. It is not recommended to use such products within 72 hours following treatment with the vaginal cream.
Diarrhea: People using this medication may develop diarrhea caused by an infection with the bacteria C. difficile. If you have loose, watery, and bloody bowel movements, with or without fever or stomach cramps, after using clindamycin vaginal cream, get medical attention as soon as possible. Diarrhea caused by C. difficile infection can lead to serious health problems if it is not properly treated.
Menstruation: Menstruating women should wait until they finish menstruating before they start to use the vaginal cream.
Sexual activity: To avoid additional irritation of the vaginal area, women using clindamycin vaginal cream should not participate in sexual intercourse or use other vaginal products while using this medication.
Pregnancy: The use of clindamycin vaginal cream by women in their second trimester of pregnancy has not been associated with side effects; however, the safety of this medication for use during pregnancy has not been established. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if clindamycin vaginal cream passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between clindamycin topical and any of the following:
- neuromuscular blocking agents (e.g., atracurium, pancuronium, succinylcholine)
- other medications inserted into the vagina
- tuberculosis vaccine
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.