Clindamycin and tretinoin (Topical application route)
klin-da-MYE-sin FOS-fate, TRET-i-noin
Uses of This Medicine:
Clindamycin and tretinoin topical is used to treat acne. It works by killing the bacteria that cause acne and by keeping the skin pores (tiny openings on the skin's surface) clear.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of clindamycin and tretinoin topical in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of clindamycin and tretinoin topical have not been performed in the geriatric population. However, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Colitis caused by antibiotics, history of or
- Crohn's disease or
- Ulcerative colitis—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper Use of This Medicine:
It is very important that you use this medicine only as directed. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may cause your skin to become too dry or irritated. 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 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, scrapes, or burns. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions in the insert carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
- 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 just enough medicine to lightly cover the affected areas, and rub it in gently but well. A pea-sized amount is enough to cover the whole face.
- You should not wash your face too often, 2 or 3 times a day is enough. Washing your face too often may dry your skin and make the acne worse.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (gel):
- For acne:
- Adults and teenagers—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin once a day, at bedtime.
- Children younger than 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For acne:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you start having severe, watery diarrhea or bloody diarrhea. This could be a sign of a serious side effect. Do not take any medicine for diarrhea without checking first with your doctor. Some medicines may make your diarrhea worse or make it last longer.
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.
Tell your doctor if you are planning to have a surgery before using this medicine. This medicine may affect how certain anesthesia medicines (medicines used during surgery to make you numb) work.
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.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
- More common
- Dryness and peeling of the skin
- flushing or redness of the skin
- unusually warm skin
- Less common
- Burning or stinging at the site of application
- changes in the color of the skin
- stomach cramps, tenderness, or pain
- watery or bloody diarrhea
- Less common
- dry skin
- muscle aches
- pain and tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- shortness of breath or troubled breathing
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- tightness of the chest or wheezing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 8/5/2022