man on toilet with a help sign

In June of 2009 we answered the following question about the antibiotic clindamycin:
“Q. For an abscessed tooth, I was given a prescription antibiotic called clindamycin. Ever since I took it, I have had unremitting diarrhea. Now my dentist wants me to see a gastroenterologist. Is there anything else I can do before going to a specialist?”
We recommended that this person see a gastroenterologist immediately since clindamycin can trigger dangerous diarrhea. It allows bad bacteria called Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) to get the upper hand in the digestive tract. Left untreated, this infection can be extremely serious, even fatal.
In November of 2009 the FDA published its most stringent caution, a boxed warning:
• Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including Cleocin HCL and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C.difficle
• C.difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.


Since then, many visitors to this site have reported serious digestive tract complications following their use of clindamycin. Here are just a few. Please report your own experience below in the comment section so that we can alert the FDA to ongoing problems associated with clindamycin.


“I was prescribed clindamycin for an infected tooth that required a root canal. The clindamycin worked for the infection, but 10 days later I had diarrhea. I went to my doctor, who said that this was a side effect of this antibiotic. He thinks it is the worst antibiotic to take. Who knew? I was tested for C diff colitis and was positive, so I was put on a different antibiotic.
I am now trying to recover. If you have any symptoms after taking this med, please get tested. It is crazy that this happens.”
BB
Nov. 9, 2010


I had a wisdom tooth extraction in mid-November 2010. There was really nothing wrong with the tooth itself, but it created a cavity in the tooth next to it. So my dentist took it out to be able to fill that cavity.
She was concerned that the extraction area might become infected and prescribed clindamycin (56 pills). It took me just about a week (6 or 7 days) to finish the specified course. I had no side effects during the course.
A couple days after finishing the last dose, however, I developed a rash all over my upper body. After a couple days I developed intense diarrhea. This diarrhea was unlike anything I’ve experienced before in my entire life and lasted for 6 days.
I went to the ER and told them that I took this anti-biotic. They said that that’s what caused the diarrhea. I went on a diet of dry foods, yogurt, and probiotics. After the diarrhea stopped, I still didn’t feel quite like I did before taking clindamycin. I had bloating and my colon was still feeling as if I was having diarrhea, although there was no actual diarrhea.
Now, over a month after the diarrhea finished, I’m still not completely well. When I go to the bathroom, the stool is not normal. Has anyone else experienced similar side effects? How long did they last?
AD
Jan. 3, 2011

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  1. Steve
    Mass
    Reply

    Hi I’m steven. I went to the dentist the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I had a temporary crown put on Wednesday morning. I woke up with my tongue swollen and sores on my tongue.

    Went to the er, where they put me on valtrex prednisone. And clyidiamicin. It’s cleared up my mouth. But I do have the diarrhea. Like a water faucet. Wonder if it’s just taking its course or go to the dr. Oh ya I missed my turkey day.

  2. Anne
    southern Maryland
    Reply

    Just prescribed for a very small but broken skin,dog bite (purely accidental). Recd. tetanus shot as I had not had one in eons and was prescribed good ole Clindamycin and Sulfamethazole as well as an antibiotic ointment. Horribly,miserably nauseated,just started with horrendous diarrhea.This after 2 full days of the two oral meds and a half day today. I think I am going to stop it. I took it also because I have had both hips replaced in the last 2 years,it is precautionary for any incident,even dental procedures,where tissue is torn,open or bleeding. What say you out there…..stop or continue or just drop the Clindamycin? Comments/thoughts?

  3. Paula
    Ohio
    Reply

    I certainly agree that Clindamycin should not be an option. I was given this drug in 2001 for Mastitis after giving birth. Like some of you, I had no issue during the course. But look out after about 3-4 days the diarrhea hit like a freight train. I was tested immediately for C-diff, positive.

    Given Vancomycin right off the bat and told it was the “silver bullet” for C-diff. It worked for the time I was on it, then the C-diff was back 3-4 days later. I was then prescribed Flagyl along with a cholesterol binding powder. That finally did the trick. But the anxiety that came with the C-diff was unlike any other. To this day I dread having bowel sounds of any sort and God forbid I have to take another antibiotic…..DREAD fills my head immediately.

  4. Lashanna frith
    Reply

    I was on this 7 day antibiotic I got my tooth extracted and clindamycin after taking this medicine I’m still having diherria I don’t feel the same before I took this medicine I did not feel like this…

  5. Kim P
    Illinois
    Reply

    I got into the middle of my dogs fighting and one of them crushed my thumb. (Rottweiler & Pitt Bull) Believe me they sent no harm to me at all. Anyway, one Dr wanted to cut my thumb completely off, but my orthopedic surgeon said no way.

    He pumped me full of antibiotics (IV) and did 3-4 surgeries to my thumb but he did save it!!! I just lost the nail bed but I’m still able to use it. Ok so after I got out of the hospital I had c-diff. For 7 months I had the worst diarrhea you could ever imagine. I really thought I was going to die. Please, if there’s even a small chance of c-diff, do not take this! Period! This shouldn’t even be an option!!!

  6. Anna B.
    Kentucky
    Reply

    I took this medicine for a tooth infection. A few days after taking it I had mucus and traces of blood in my stool. Also, started getting pain in my left side as well as rectal pain. It’s been four months and although I’m starting to see signs of improvement my stool is still not completely normal and I occasionally have slight rectal pain. How long before I get completely over this?

  7. Jon
    Pittsburgh
    Reply

    TOXIC POISON!
    Don’t understand why it’s prescribed for anything. I went through the c-diff deal due to this medication back in April of 2011.
    I will die before I ever see a doctor or take another medication in my life. And I mean that 100%!

  8. Beth
    Key West,Fl
    Reply

    I am a Regestered Nurse for more than 40 years
    June ,2016 I took Clindomycin prescribed by my dentist for tooth abbcess
    Two week later I ended up in ER with the worst most foul smelling diarrhea ever. C Diff!
    I failed three rounds of Vankomycin and then started Deficid which cost $5000 for 10 day supply if the Deficid does not work then I will be scheduled for a fecal implant
    Three miserable months the sickest I’ve ever been in my life

  9. Imran K.
    Pakistan
    Reply

    I had tooth infection and doctor recommended me for scaling. He prescribed my Clindamycin for five days before this treatment.

    After taking clindamycin, I was suffering from diarrhea (loose stools), which last about 2 -1/2 weeks. Even after this, I am still not feeling well. I still didn’t feel quite like I did before taking clindamycin. I had bloating and my colon was still feeling as if I was having diarrhea, although there was no actual diarrhea.

  10. Lynn
    Ohio
    Reply

    I had an abscessed tooth & was given Clindamyacin 300mg taken every 6 hrs. After second day have severe heartburn, felt like I was having a heart attack. Had some diarrhea. I stopped taking it 2 days ago & still have heartburn. I will never take it again

  11. upset
    Reply

    doctors needs 2 b more careful

  12. upset
    Reply

    If I had ever known this I would never have taken the drug. It’s awful. Worse side effects than what it cures.

    • Gary C. Borham
      Burgettstown,Pa.
      Reply

      I had a infection on my arm, had it opened and drained in th ER two was after stop taking this med, had severe disrespect for 5 days my Dr. Put me on some melds to help me. Now recovering a 78 yr. old man. Have never been this sick. They should ban this drug.

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