Clindamycin hydrochloride is a type of antibiotic used to treat many different infections caused by anaerobic bacteria. Often referred to simply as clindamycin, this drug is derived from certain types of bacteria and functions by preventing some bacteria from synthesizing ribonucleic acid (RNA). It is commonly used to treat staph infection, strep infection, such as strep throat, and infections caused by certain protozoa.
Like many other antibiotics, clindamycin hydrochloride stops bacterial infection by preventing bacteria from creating proteins that they need to reproduce. From the lincosamide family, this antibiotic is used often against anaerobic bacteria, especially staphylococci and streptococci, the bacteria that cause staph and strep infection respectively. Lincosamides are naturally occurring antibiotics that can be found in certain types of bacteria.
Infections of the blood, lungs, skin or organs may all be treated with clindamycin hydrochloride. A broad-range antibiotic, this medication can be used to treat infections in many different parts of the body that are caused by many different types of bacteria. In addition to treating bacterial infections, clindamycin hydrochloride treats infection by certain strains of malaria, toxoplasmosis, and inhaled anthrax.
With a relatively short half-life, clindamycin hydrochloride must be taken three or four times a day to effectively treat bacterial infection. The medicine is often taken as a liquid suspension or a pill. Treatment may last from a few days to several weeks or more, depending on the type and severity of the infection. Most patients begin to feel better within a few days, though medication should continue to be taken even if symptoms dissipate. Bacteria that are left alive after treatment with this or other antibiotics may recover and develop a resistance to antibiotics.
The use of clindamycin hydrochloride has been known to cause colitis. Colitis is inflammation of the lining of the large intestine which can develop into a life-threatening condition if it is left untreated. Though colitis may be caused by a number of different types of antibiotics, clindamycin hydrochloride is more likely than other drugs to lead to this disease, especially if a patient has a history of the intestinal problems.
Doctors sometimes prescribe clindamycin hydrochloride for infections that may affect unborn babies. It is believed that this medication is generally safe for developing fetuses, though it is not recommended for women who are breast feeding, because it is passed to the infant through the breast milk. Like any antibiotic, exposure to medication when it is not needed can cause serious side effects and create antibiotic resistant bacteria.