Clindamycin/tretinoin (On the skin)
Clindamycin (klin-da-MYE-sin), Tretinoin (TRET-i-noin)
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to clindamycin or tretinoin. You should not use this medicine if you have bowel or stomach conditions called Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, or if you have had colitis from using an antibiotic.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, mouth, nose, on the corners of your nose, or vagina. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
- It is best to use this medicine at bedtime.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
- Before applying this medicine, wash your face with warm water and a mild soap, rinse well, and pat dry.
- Apply a thin layer to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
- You may need to use this medicine for several weeks or months before your skin starts to look better. Applying extra medicine will not make it work faster.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using erythromycin (Akne-Mycin®, A/T/S®, E-Mycin®, Eryderm®, Ery-tab®) or muscle relaxants (such as pancuronium, vecuronium, Norcuron®, or Pavulon®).
- Do not use any other medicines on the treated skin areas without asking your doctor. Avoid using any skin care products that can dry or irritate your skin. These include rough skin cleansers, soaps, or products that contain alcohol, spices, or lime.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are planning to have a surgery.
- If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, wind, and cold weather. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds. You may need to wear protective clothing, such as a hat.
- Skin reactions can occur when you use this medicine, such as dryness, redness, peeling, burning, or stinging. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if your skin becomes very red, swollen, blistered, or crusted.
- This medicine may also cause a temporary change in skin color (lighter or darker). Talk to your doctor if this concerns you.
- Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Diarrhea that is watery or contains blood.
- Severe or ongoing skin redness, peeling, itching, blistering, crusting, or swelling.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Changes in skin color.
- Headache, cough, sore throat, or runny or stuffy nose.
- Mild skin dryness, itching, peeling, burning, or redness.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013