Clindamycin and tretinoin Topical application

Clindamycin Phosphate, TRET-i-noin

Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Ziana

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Gel/Jelly

Therapeutic Class: Antiacne

Chemical Class: Clindamycin

Uses For clindamycin and tretinoin

Clindamycin and tretinoin combination 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 .

clindamycin and tretinoin is available only with your doctor's prescription .

Before Using clindamycin and tretinoin

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 clindamycin and tretinoin, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to clindamycin and tretinoin 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 combination 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 combination have not been performed in the geriatric population. However, no geriatrics-specific problems have been documented to date .

Interactions with Medicines

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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

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 clindamycin and tretinoin. 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 use in patients with these conditions .

Proper Use of clindamycin and tretinoin

It is very important that you use clindamycin and tretinoin 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 clindamycin and tretinoin for several weeks or months before your skin starts to look better. Applying extra medicine will not make it work faster .

clindamycin and tretinoin is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, mouth, nose, or on the corners of your nose. Do not use it on skin that has cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away .

Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using clindamycin and tretinoin.

Before applying clindamycin and tretinoin, 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 clindamycin and tretinoin 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 clindamycin and tretinoin. 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 .

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of clindamycin and tretinoin, 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.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using clindamycin and tretinoin

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 clindamycin and tretinoin 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 with your doctor first. Some medicines may make your diarrhea worse or make it last longer .

clindamycin and tretinoin 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 clindamycin and tretinoin, such as dryness, redness, peeling, burning, or stinging. Stop using clindamycin and tretinoin and call your doctor right away if your skin becomes very red, swollen, blistered, or crusted .

clindamycin and tretinoin may also cause a temporary change in skin color (lighter or darker). Talk to your doctor if this concerns you .

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 .

clindamycin and tretinoin Side Effects

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:

More common
  • Dryness and peeling of skin
  • flushing or redness of skin
  • itching
  • unusually warm skin
Less common
  • Burning or stinging at the site of application
  • changes in color of skin
  • fever
  • stomach cramps, tenderness, or pain
  • watery or bloody diarrhea

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:

Less common
  • Cough
  • dry skin
  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • pain and tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
  • shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • tightness of chest or wheezing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

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.

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