Clindamycin is an antibiotic that is used clinically to treat anaerobic bacterial infections, especially those that arise above the level of the diaphragm. It works by targeting the 50S subunit of bacterial ribosomes, blocking bacterial protein synthesis and stopping bacterial growth. One side effect commonly associated with clindamycin is the development of pseudomembranous colitis due to overgrowth of clostridium difficile bacteria.

Key Points

  • Clindamycin
    • Mechanism
      • Reversibly binds 50S subunit of bacterial ribosomes
        • Blocks peptide transfer (translocation) and bacterial protein synthesis
      • Bacteriostatic
    • Clinical Use
      • Anaerobic infections
        • e.g. Bacteroides spp., Clostridium perfringens
        • Aspiration pneumonia, lung abscesses, bacterial vaginosis, oral infections
        • Mnemonic: above the diaphragm (metronidazole for anaerobes below the diaphragm)
      • Invasive group A streptococcal (S. pyogenes) infection
    • Adverse Effects
      • Pseudomembranous colitis (C. difficile overgrowth)
        • Clindamycin use is highly associated with C. difficile infection
      • Fever
      • Diarrhea