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Lincosamide Antibiotic (Systemic Drug)

Prescriber Highlights

  • Broad-spectrum antibiotic active against many anaerobes, gram-positive aerobic cocci, and Toxoplasma gondii
Uses, Indications
  • Labeled indications for dogs include wounds, abscesses, and osteomyelitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus
  • Also used extensively to treat infections caused by most pathogenic anaerobic organisms and a variety of protozoal infections (eg, toxoplasmosis)
Contraindications, Precautions, Warnings
  • Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to lincosamide antibiotics

  • Precautions

Patients with hepatic or renal disease; generally, avoid use in neonatal small animals

  • Warnings

Implicated in causing esophagitis and potentially causing esophageal strictures in small animals 

Adverse Effects
  • GI upsets 
  • Esophagitis and esophageal strictures have been reported after administration in cats without food or a water bolus
  • Hypersalivation or lip smacking may occur occasionally after oral administration in cats
  • Pain at IM injection site
Drug Interactions
  • Antagonism is likely when erythromycin is used with clindamycin; concomitant use should be avoided
  • Use caution when giving with neuromuscular blocking agents because clindamycin possesses intrinsic neuromuscular blocking activity
  • Clinical efficacy
  • GI side effects, particularly severe diarrhea
  • Slight increases in liver enzymes (ie, ALT, ALP, AST) can occur, but no clinical significance has been reported
    • The manufacturer recommends periodic liver and kidney testing if therapy persists for more than 30 days
Client Information
  • Avoid dry pilling because of risk for esophagitis and esophageal stricture formation
  • Has a very bitter taste
  • Report severe, prolonged, or bloody diarrhea to a veterinarian
Dosage Forms
  • Both veterinary- and human-labeled products are available:
    • Clindamycin oral capsules: 25 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg, 300 mg
    • Clindamycin oral tablets: 25 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg
    • Clindamycin oral solution: 25 mg/mL in 30-mL bottles

Compiled and summarized from Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs by Shannon Palermo, VMD

Information about this drug was adapted from Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs. Further details and more therapeutics can be found with a subscription at

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